Illegal streams, merch bonanza: Squid Game craze hits China

It is not available in China but Netflix’s global sensation Squid Game has already built up a huge following in the country, with fans dodging strict internet controls to stream the show and snapping up merchandise such as its unique outfits.

This photo taken on October 12, 2021 shows a delivery worker waiting next to a small shop for dalgonas, a crisp sugar candy featured in the Netflix series Squid Game, in Shanghai. Photo: Hector Retamal/AFP.

The dystopian South Korean thriller has become the most popular Netflix series launch ever, the streaming giant said Tuesday, but it is unlikely to pass China’s censors because of its brutally violent content.

Yet it is already a hit in cities such as Shanghai, where a crowd formed Tuesday at an eatery selling dalgona — the crisp sugar candy featured in one episode — with customers gathering at its Squid Game-themed sign to take photos.


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