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Iconic Hallyu Stars And Dramas Of 2015, According To Chinese Audiences

BY Adrienne Stanley | Oct 05, 2015 11:56 AM EDT

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On October 5, the Joong Ang Ilbo published the results of a recent offline study conducted by the Korean Marketing Association, which sampled 2737 Chinese nationals. The study, which was conducted from June 22 through September 4,  focused on various aspects of Hallyu entertainment, including pop music, K-Drama, actors, sports and variety shows. 

According to the report, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye and Jun Ji Hyun led the results with the highest votes for iconic Korean actors. 

Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun continue to have a major impact on the Chinese market, following the success of "My Love from the Star."

In 2015, Kim led the cast of the KBS hit, "Producer." The success of the weekend series was exemplified through a high-priced licencing deal involving China's site, Sohu, who allegedly paid $2.4 million USD for the rights to stream the drama.

Lee Min Ho continues to be a strong player within the mainland market, with his influence leading to global endorsements and the Chinese-Korean blockbuster, "Bounty Hunters." He did not appear in a drama in 2015, but entered the film industry with his breakout silver screen role in "Gangnam 1970." 

Lee co-starred with Park Shin Hye in the 2013 teen drama, "The Heirs," a series which served as a further catalyst for their domination of the pan-Asian market. In 2015, Park starred with Lee Jong Suk in the investigative reporting series, "Pinocchio." 

The influence of Kim Soo Hyun was also present within the K-Drama category, where "Producer" outperformed several other series, in the survey. Other top programs including the psychological drama, "Kill Me, Heal Me" and the teen series, "Who Are You: School 2015." 

Chinese participants in the survey selected some of the hottest acts in K-pop as cultural icons in the music category. Big Bang, who is currently performing a sold-out tour in North America, topped the survey within the pop category.  Other top acts in the survey included SM Entertainment's powerhouse acts, Girls' Generation and EXO. 

The study conducted by the Korean Marketing Association also examined programming from the variety show sector. "Running Man," which continues to attract new audiences through its main cast of stars like Yoo Jae Suk, Song Ji Hyo and Gary topped the list, along with "Infinite Challenge," "Superman is Back," and "We Got Married." 

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