It's been streamed over 15 billion times..
The most googled TV show of 2018 has been revealed – but there’s a decent chance that you’ve never heard of it.
The achievement was secured by Story of Yanxi Palace which has proved to be a massive hit on iQiyi, China’s own Netflix-style streaming service, where the period drama has been streamed more than 15 billion times.
The show tells the story of Wei Yingluo (Wu Jinyan), an 18th century maid who is forced to investigate the death of her sister while working at the palace of Emperor Qianlong.
According to Google, official analytics revealed that the top interest in the show came from Asian regions like Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Hong Kong, although it has experienced huge popularity in mainland China too.
It’s believed that the show’s popularity in China can also be attributed to the lack of government interference, as shows that are viewed via digital online services are likely to face less censorship than shows on TV channels.Story of Yanxi Palace‘s success can partly be attributed to the lack of government interference with its storyline, as shows distributed via online platforms face slightly less censorship than those that air through traditional TV channels.
Although the show is yet to air in the UK, all 70 episodes have been transmitted so far on CTI America.
Speaking to ABC Australia last September, star Lawrence Wong said the show’s focus on Chinese history had helped it become a huge hit.
Wong, who plays servant Hai Lancha, explained: “I think period dramas are particularly popular in China because they retain a certain culture of China that a lot of Chinese can relate to.
“Not just Chinese from China, but Chinese people all over the world. When they watch a period drama or period movie immediately they feel like, ‘oh that’s my culture’. It’s something that all of us take pride in.”