Squid Game, Netflix’s latest hit series, has ushered in at least one new business idea in Shanghai.
Xuxiaoye (徐小野), a shop located on a central shopping street that specializes in stinky tofu and roasted cicadas, has added dalgona candies (a Korean honeycomb toffee) inspired by one of the show’s lethal challenges to its menu.
While the store has maintained its official name, it has made not-so-sneaky use of Squid Game branding, adding a sign above the door that features imagery from the show and reads ‘鱿鱼游戏糖饼’ or ‘Squid Game Candies’ in English.
In the series’ second challenge, players are asked to cut shapes out of the dalgona candies using a needle. If they break the toffee, they lose — and die. Yeah, it’s a crazy game, but luckily (spoiler alert), all our main characters manage to get through.
Now, people in Shanghai can relive the horror and participate in the contest in real life: Each dalgona purchase at Xuxiaoye also comes with a needle.
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One netizen posted on the Chinese restaurant review app Dianping that she managed to cut out one shape and completed the challenge within three seconds. More commonly, though, people posted about their failures.
“I started poking it right there at the stall, and when I only finished 1/4, suddenly… the umbrella broke into halves💔💔💔,” said one user on the food stall’s Dianping page.
Because the shop uses Squid Game’s name and logo, many netizens opined that the shop owner has infringed on the show’s copyright.
“Hmmm… isn’t this an infringement of the [show’s] copyright? I think the shop is using this trendy topic for free and didn’t attain proper copyright,” wrote a Dianping user.
The dalgona shop is located at People’s Square, a central shopping district in the ’Hai. According to a report by Chinese business media outlet DT财经, the area has become a tourist attraction for its diverse selection of cheap street foods.
Cover image via IMDb
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