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'Descendants of the Sun' racks up 400 mln views in China

All Headlines 15:17 March 08, 2016

SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- South Korean drama "Descendants of the Sun" has collected more than 400 million views on a popular Chinese streaming website, local media reported Tuesday.

The first two episodes aired two weeks ago have garnered 200 million views each on iQiyi, the video website that holds the rights to distribute the show in China, the Chinese media reported.

The series starring South Korean actor Song Joong-ki and actress Song Hye-kyo has generated much buzz in South Korea with viewership of each episode hovering well above 20 percent, and the same appears to be true in the neighboring country.

"Descendants of the Sun" is a love story between an Army captain (Song Joong-ki) and a doctor (Song Hye-kyo) who find themselves in a fictional war-torn country called Uruk, where both try to save lives.

"The show has become the talk of the town with the two Songs being discussed on radio shows everywhere. Some shows even had live phone conversations with viewers to discuss its popularity," a Chinese entertainment official said.

"Descendants of the Sun" is the first Korean show to premiere at once in South Korea and China. Its distribution rights have been rumored to go for more than US$250,000 per episode, thanks to the name values bestowed by star writer Kim Eun-sook and the two Songs.

"It's still too early to say, but 'Descendants of the Sun' seems to be the first Korean show to be so popular in China after 'My Love from the Star,'" an official at the Beijing office of the Korea Creative Content Agency said. "My Love from the Star" is an SBS sci-fi rom-com series starring actor Kim Soo-hyun and actress Jun Ji-hyun that became a huge sensation across Asia in 2014.

New episodes of "Descendants of the Sun" air on Wednesday and Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on KBS.

sojungpark@yna.co.kr
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