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Korean thriller 'Squid Game' sweeps global Netflix charts

By Jo Sung-a & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
Korean thriller 'Squid Game' sweeps global Netflix charts
Contestants attempt to etch out the shape of a sugar candy called "dalgona" during Episode 3 of "Squid Game," a South Korean Netflix original series. Photo courtesy of Netflix

SEOUL, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- South Korean thriller Squid Game has swept Netflix charts across the world since its premiere on Sept. 17, according to FlixPatrol, which tracks streaming data.

The nine-episode series, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, officially hit No. 1 last week in all 83 countries where the series is available on Netflix.

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As of Monday, it was the No. 1 show in countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Japan and South Korea.

In the dystopian drama, hundreds of cash-strapped contestants are pitted against each other in six rounds of deadly childhood games. The winner gets $39 million.

Netflix has said that the series could become the streaming service's biggest show yet. Netflix's share price reached a new high last week at over $610.

Fans globally are showing their support for the show in creative ways. Some have shared videos of themselves cutting out the shape from a paper-thin sugar candy called "dalgona," which was featured in Episode 3.

Dalgona-making toolkits have also become available at major online retailers, such as Amazon and eBay.

The show's popularity has also brought with it legal controversy. SK Broadband, a South Korean Internet service provider, brought Netflix to court, claiming that the show caused a spike in network traffic.

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"The success of Squid Game would benefit Netflix. But a surge in network traffic significantly burdens us, and Netflix does not want to share the burden," an SK Broadband representative told UPI News Korea.

In a prolonged legal battle between Netflix and SK Broadband, a Seoul district court effectively confirmed in June that Netflix needs to pay the latter's bandwidth fees.

However, SK Broadband has complained that Netflix is not ready to start negotiations. In response, Netflix Korea said that it will try to find a way to cooperate with SK Broadband and its users.

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