Chinese keen to taste S. Korean culture, thanks to TV

Employees of a Chinese firm posing for a wefie ahead of their beer and fried chicken feast at a company event in South Korea's Incheon on Monday.
Employees of a Chinese firm posing for a wefie ahead of their beer and fried chicken feast at a company event in South Korea's Incheon on Monday.PHOTO: REUTERS

INCHEON • About 4,500 employees of a Chinese cosmetics firm visiting South Korea as the largest tour group to arrive in the country by plane sat down earlier this week for a dinner of fried chicken and beer, a staple made popular in China by a hit Korean television drama.

The group from Aolan International Beauty Group was on an employee reward trip. It flew in last Saturday on 158 flights for a seven-day tour and gathered around 750 outdoor tables for Monday's dinner, said officials in Incheon, 50km west of the capital Seoul.

The number of Chinese visitors to South Korea rose 17 per cent in the first two months of the year to 1.07 million, and is expected to hit a record eight million this year, drawn in part by the popularity of Korean cultural exports such as TV shows, movies and K-pop music.

The combination of South Korean chicken and beer became popular in China with the Korean TV show My Love From The Star, a romantic comedy about a famous actress and her alien boyfriend that aired in 2013 and 2014.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese keen to taste S. Korean culture, thanks to TV'. Print Edition | Subscribe