Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Netflix Inc said on Thursday it plans to invest $500 million on original movies and TV shows in South Korea this year, as the streaming giant expands in one of the fastest growing markets in Asia.

The company has built a pipeline of Korean original content including sci-fi thriller The Silent Sea, reality series Baik's Spirit and sitcom So Not Worth It, Netflix said in a blog post.

Netflix, which had 3.8 million paid subscribers in the country at the end of 2020, has already invested nearly $700 million, feeding off the global popularity of the pop culture machine of South Korea.

It has created more than 70 Korean-made shows, including the hit zombie thriller Kingdom and documentary series Black Pink: Light Up the Sky about the highest charted female K-Pop act.

The streaming pioneer enjoyed a boom in subscriptions last year as people around the globe were largely stuck at home due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Netflix has been spending heavily on developing original content as it faces intense competition from other streaming platforms including Walt Disney Co’s Disney+, HBO Max from AT&T Inc and Apple Inc’s Apple TV+.

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