A still from South Korean TV series Descendants of the Sun.[File photo]
Chinese audiences accustomed to watching free or even pirated TV shows on their phones and tablets are now paying for VIP packages to watch a popular Korean drama online.
Descendants of the Sun is a record-breaking 16-episode rom-com broadcast on Korean channel KBS2. It dominates the Wednesday-Thursday evening slot and was watched by a staggering 31.6 percent of the Korean audience on Thursday.
Exclusive rights to stream the show in China are owned by iQiyi.
In December of last year, iQiyi had 10 million paying users. Zhang Yuxin, an intellectual property rights (IPR) manager at the provider, claims more than 1.2 billion views on the series since itpremiered on Feb 24.
IQiyi estimates that at least 3 million new VIP users have signed up to watch.
VIP members VIP会员
priority viewing 优先观看
latest episodes 最新剧集
free users 免费用户