A new study confirms that global K-pop sensation BTS and South Korea’s most followed actor on social media, Lee Min-ho, are among foreigners’ most loved Hallyu stars.
South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism along with the Korea International Cultural Exchange Agency conducted the survey of 8,500 foreigners across 18 different countries, Donga Ilbo reported.
It is the second year in a row that BTS takes the top K-pop star spot, with a total of 26.7% of the votes. Blackpink trails behind at 10.4%, followed by IU in 3rd (2.8%), Lisa in 4th (2.4%) and Psy in 5th (2.2%).
Lee Min-ho enters his fourth year in a row as the most popular actor among South Korea’s global stars with 9.3% of the votes, followed by Hyun Bin (“Crash Landing on You”) and Gong Yoo (“The Silent Sea”).
The 34-year-old Lee has been in the international spotlight since his breakout role as the chaebol heir Gu Jun-pyo in the hit 2009 teen series “Boys Over Flowers.” Since then he’s gone on to star in other major hits including “City Hunter” (2011) and “Heirs” (2013). Most recently he appeared in the 2020 fantasy romance series “The King: Eternal Monarch” and will soon star in Apple TV’s highly anticipated adaptation of author Min Jin Lee’s best-selling book “Pachinko.”
Participants placed Netflix’s 2021 thriller series “Squid Game” at the top of the list for most liked Korean shows, receiving 21.2% of the votes. The show made headlines all over the world last year as it became Netflix’s all-time popular show and the first Korean show to reach the top of the platform’s streaming charts worldwide. It received nearly 10 times the amount of votes as runner-up “Crash Landing on You” at 2.2%. In third place was “Vincenzo” with 1.9% of the votes.
Meanwhile “Parasite,” the 2019 Oscar-winning film directed by Bong Joon-ho, assumed its position at the top of the favorite movie category for the third year in a row.
Results from the survey suggest that the rise of Korean culture has impacted consumer behavior across Korean industries, with an official from the Cultural Exchange Agency saying that the Hallyu wave “leads to trust in Korean products and services.”
About 61.8% of the respondents said that Hallyu content has affected their purchasing decisions on Korean goods and services. Regardless of whether they were familiar with the brand, 40% said they would buy products that were marked as being made in Korea, an increase of 7.4% from last year, reported Korea Herald.
The International Cultural Exchange Agency’s head of research, Choi Kyung-hee, said that the popularity of Korean content has continued to increase despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected industries worldwide.
Featured Image via HYBE LABELS (left), “Boys Over Flowers” (right)