'My Love from Another Star' sparks chicken and beer craze in China
We all loved the recently concluded hit K-drama My Love From Another Star, but there may be no one more appreciative than all of the chicken and beer restaurant owners in China. Chimek (“chi” is short for chicken and “mek” for “mekju,” the Korean word for beer) restaurants have noticed an exponential increase in sales since the release of the drama, and we can't say we're that surprised!
In China, My Love From Another Star has become the most-watched TV series on two of the online video platforms where it’s available, iqiyi.com and LeTV.com. On iqiyi alone, it has been watched 14.5 billion times since its December debut.
In the series, the show’s main character loves chimek, specifically during the year's first snowfall. As evidence of its extreme popularity, there have been over than 3.7 million posts related to chimek on Weibo, the top microblogging platform in China. Tencent’s WeChat has joined in on the fun as well, displaying falling snowflakes or snowmen when users send messages to one another that include the Chinese expression for chimek, "zhaji he pijiu."
Sim June-bo, owner of Barsak Chicken and Beer, a Korean restaurant in Beijing, attested to the phenomenon, saying, “In the past, 40% of our clients who ordered fried chicken were Chinese and 60% were Korean. Now it is 80% Chinese and 20% Korean." Sim added that there have been as many as 100 people standing in line for takeout at his store.
At another fried chicken takeaway joint in central Beijing, an employee commented on the increase in revenue as well. “Our daily revenue used to be about several hundred yuan, but since last month, it has grown rapidly and can reach as much as 3,000 yuan per day,” he said.
Now that's a spike! Looks like Cheon Song Yi really can sell anything, especially chimek in China!