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Southeast Asian K-Pop Fans on an E-Commerce Buying Frenzy

How K-pop became a global phenomenon.

K-Pop has become a billion dollar industry with popular acts such as BTS, Blackpink, NCT Dreams (just to name a few) flooding the airwaves with their music. Their distinct blend of catchy songs, sleek choreography, production value, and an endless parade of attractive South Korean artists who spend years in rigorous studio systems learning to sing and dance in synchronized perfection, it is now wonder that K-pop has become a worldwide phenomenon!

“Idols” as it is known by K-Pop enthusiasts have extended their popularity to include Southeast Asia, while is now successfully stepping up in their entertainment industry. The fan craze has also transformed the future of the Asian market.

So what exactly is their mojo?

They call it “Hallyu” also known as the Korean wave. An idea that South Korean pop culture has grown in prominence to become a major driver of global culture. Everything from Korean dramas on Netflix to Korean skincare regimens dominating the cosmetics industry to delicious Korean tacos on your favourite local menu. At the heart of “Hallyu” is the ever-growing popularity of K-pop — short, of course, for Korean pop music.
None of this is accidental. A highly organized and coordinated production structure, K-pop has become the international face of South Korea. K-pop has been carefully engineered to worm its way into your brain and to raise South Korea and its culture onto the global scene — more than any other foreign music industry. “Hallyu” has driven the growth of various sales including K-Pop, Korean TV dramas, consumer goods, and tourism, generating up to $12 billion in exports and bringing in $6.4 billion!
For example, e-commerce giants like Lazada hopes to establish an online synergy with the South Korean entertainment industry, tightening the connection between entertainment content and relevant products to encourage “hardcore” fans to place orders. ​
​“K-Pop-related merchandise has become an emerging category on Lazada. With products with celebrity-inspired fan merchandise, idols’ photos, records, they have successfully increased the demand of this category with sellers grossing more than $50,000 in daily revenue!” said Yi Qian, the head of Lazada’s cross-border business.
Lazada invited South Korean boyband NCT Dream to perform at Lazada’s Super Party in March 2021 and won over the little hearts of 5 million fans tuning into Laz Live that night. Jumping on the bandwagon, Lazada generated “Hallyu” and K-Pop idols with sellers on the platform cashing in on this trend whilst achieving exponential growth.

This evolution suggests that one of the reasons K-pop has been able to gain international traction in recent years is that it has been able to break free from its own rigid norms, using modern themes and sophisticated subtexts without sacrificing the incredibly polished packaging that makes it so appealing. If anything, the Hallyu production machine may go on and on forever as the future of K-pop continues to go smooth like, well, butter.