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A promo poster for My Love From the Star, in which an alien played by Kim Soo-hyun falls in love with a human woman. (File photo/China Times)

Online video sites have helped push the popularity of South Korean entertainment in China to a new high, following the introduction of the hit TV series My Love from the Star, Shanghai‘s China Business News reports.

Thanks to the hit TV series, Kim Soo-hyun, who plays the lead role of an alien from a different planet, had won invitations to a long list of commercial events in China since March, the newspaper said.

The report said Kim attended two events, three press conferences as brand spokesman and four fan gatherings in March and April alone, with a front-row seat to attend the April 6 fan meeting in Beijing being resold for 9,000 yuan (US$1,450).

The agency representing Kim, Keyeast, has also seen its stock prices triple during the past year, with reports claiming that Kim has netted 12 billion won (US$11.8 million) for the company, in which another Korean star Bae Yong-joon holds a stake.

Bae was the star of the 2002 TV series Winter Sonata, which reportedly helped boost South Korea’s tourism industry by 15% after the show became popular throughout East Asia, the newspaper said.

South Korea saw the number of TV series airing in China rise from eight in 2004 to 29 the following year.

While foreign TV series, including from South Korea, have been affected by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television’s ban on the broadcast of foreign shows during prime time, the rise of online video sites has offered a new channel for these programs, the report said.

My Love from the Star has received over 2 billion hits on Chinese video sites, a record for any TV series in the country, according to the newspaper.

The popularity of Kim’s show also resulted in Chinese TV productions focusing on the success of South Korea’s entertainment industry and more recently the beginning of Chinese-Korean co-productions.

As part of this trend, Chinese online video site Tudou recently participated in a reality show for a new boy band called GOT7, which was entitled “I GOT7” and began broadcasting on SBS MTV in South Korea in late April, the newspaper noted.

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