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BTS bonanza: The surging popularity of South Korean music and TV shows in the U.S. has paved the way for investment in the country to become the next 'K-wave.'   © AP
Business Spotlight

The BTS bump: How K-pop drove Korea Inc to go big in the U.S.

Music, drama fan 'huge tailwind' for Korean investment in states like Georgia

MARRIAN ZHOU and YIFAN YU, Nikkei staff writers | U.S.

NEW YORK/PALO ALTO -- In more than a decade as an auditor, Jae Kim had never been asked a crunch question like the one directed his way by a Georgia state representative during a meeting on South Korean corporate investments: "Have you watched 'Itaewon Class?'"

"At that moment, I was like, wow, K-drama is pretty influential!" Kim said, referring to the 2020 Netflix hit set in the famous Seoul nightlife district. "I know where Itaewon is, it is a very hip place, so we talked about Itaewon for some time."

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