Netflix isn't available in China but that hasn't stopped businesses there from cashing in on the 'Squid Game' frenzy with merch

China's "Squid Game” phenomenon is attracting businesses.
Even though streaming is not available in China, the South Korean show is still a huge hit in China.

The South Korean ambassador to China stated that he had asked the authorities to investigate illegal distribution of the program.

Top stories based upon your reading preferences Loading Click to sign up for Insider marketing emails. You also agree to receive partner offers.

Netflix's "Squid Game", a streaming video service that is available in China, is a huge success in China. Related merchandise and merchandise are selling fast despite not being available in China.

Instead, Chinese viewers have been streaming the South Korean hit show Netflix's most watched show through VPNs, unofficial streaming platforms, and file-sharing. This has kept the discussion on the show going and trending on social networks.

According to the South China Morning Post, the show is so popular in China that Weibo (China's Twitter-like platform) recorded 1.9 billion mentions.

Shops have jumped on to the dalgona train in the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. One of the show's most deadly challenges features sweet honeycomb-based candy.

Reuters reported that a Beijing bakery launched a confection-making competition called "Squid Game", in the capital city.

DIY Bakery & More's owner told Reuters that her customers were mainly young people, a key demographic for the show's fans.

A shop selling dalgona sugar cane in Shanghai, China attracts customers. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

AFP reported that long lines formed in Shanghai at a restaurant selling dalgonas.

According to the outlet, Avid fans snapped photos of the shop's "Squid Game", themed signs. They tried, like in one challenge in the series: cutting shapes out candy without breaking it.

Chinese manufacturers are trying to keep up with the constant orders for "Squid Game merchandise" ahead of Halloween.

China's state-owned Global Times newspaper reported that the largest wholesale market in Yiwu has been overwhelmed with orders for masks worn in "Squid Game", the show's monitors. The demand for mask molds has also increased.

Huayu Toys, a wholesale toy shop, stated that it had been selling over 10,000 masks per day since October began. Exports account for around 80%.

However, wholesalers stated that electricity restrictions continue to limit production.

At a wholesale market, Yiwu in China, costumes and masks inspired from "Squid Game". Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images

Despite the success of "Squid Games" in China, South Korea's Ambassador to China is not amused at the show's spread across non-official channels.

According to AFP, the South Korean envoy stated that he had requested Chinese authorities to stop piracy during a recent parliamentary audit.

Jang Ha-sung stated that "Squid Game", which is gaining worldwide popularity, was being illegally distributed on approximately 60 Chinese sites."

Experts told South China Morning Post that the series is unlikely to become available in China. They cited the violence of the show and themes of socioeconomic inequality, which could anger Chinese censors.

Even if the show could ever find a Chinese distributor, many of its core components would be lost.

"A clean version" of "Squid Game" It wouldn't be the same drama," Hye Kyung Lee, a researcher on K-dramas at King's College London, told SCMP. "I don't know if this drama will ever be censored in China, because there are too many murders and there's a lot [content] that is extreme for the storyline.