The Jakarta Post
A report by The Korea Foundation revealed that there were 89.19 million fans of 'hallyu' (Korean Wave) worldwide as of December 2018. An analysis in the report said that the significant increase of fans was due to the rising popularity of BTS (pictured). (Big Hit Entertainment/The Korea Herald/-)
The Korea Foundation reported Thursday that there were 89.19 million fans of hallyu (Korean Wave) globally as of December 2018, as reported by Korea Bizwire. The number is a 22 percent increase from 73.12 million people in 2017.
The fans belong to 1,843 fan clubs in 113 countries worldwide, excluding South Korea.
The foundation, affiliated with the South Korean government, said that hallyu fan clubs included organizations dedicated to Korean singers, actors, culture and food, taekwondo clubs and Korean cultural communities in universities.
The report revealed that, based on continent, Asia and Oceania had 70.59 members in 457 fan clubs, followed by North and South America (11.8 million members in 712 clubs) and Europe (6.57 million members in 534 clubs), while Africa and the Middle East had 230,000 members in 140 clubs.
From 2016 to 2017, there was a considerable increase of 14 million hallyu fans worldwide. With this rate, the foundation predicted that fans of the Korean Wave will reach 100 million by the year 2020.
The report also included an analysis that stated the significant increase of fans was due to the rising popularity of boyband BTS. The group ranked first in last year’s Billboard 200 chart, becoming the first Korean group with a Grammy nomination, and graced the cover of Time magazine for its Next Generation Leaders issue. During its world tour, which started last year, BTS visited the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and the United States, and performed four sold-out shows at the Staples Center, Los Angeles. The tour will last until April 2019 with a closing show in Bangkok.
The foundation suggested that there should be more policies geared toward female fans, as they were considered the main consumers of Korean beauty products and tourism. (wng)
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