The latest SBS period K-drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo might be behind in viewership ratings. However, it has proven quite profitable for the network in the Chinese market.

August 30 marked the debut of SBS’ latest offering. The period K-drama follows the recently concluded Doctors, which was a medical-themed love story. However, the change in storyline has yet to prove it can live up to or better yet surpass the success of its predecessor.

Alas, Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo is not quite there. Admittedly, it has only been on air for two weeks. Its rating slipped further after the fourth episode. Viewers voiced their opinions about the decision to cast K-Pop stars in key roles of the period K-drama. Their feedback was not as favorable as hoped for, as many were critical of their acting. However, it could still pick up viewership rankings after a few more episodes.

Nevertheless, its viewership ranking did not put off YouKu from purchasing the period K-drama. Moreover, it did so to the whopping price tag of USD400,000 per episode. Yet the total of USD8 million turned out to be a bargain. According to K-Pop Herald, the Chinese broadcasting station made the purchase amidst the ban imposed by their country on anything Korean. Thus, one could only imagine how high it would have gone without the current political tension between the two nations.

Why the Chinese love Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo

The interest in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo reflects the soft spot of the Chinese for period dramas. Yet the Korean series holds special meaning as it is a remake of the 2011 Scarlet Heart, hence the likely connection to audiences in China. This aspect could be its edge over Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. The KBS2’s is also a period K-drama and remains strong in viewership rankings nationwide at 19.3%. By contrast, the SBS period K-drama earned only 5.7% after its fourth episode according to Soompi.