In 2016, South Korea’s most googled search term was “The Handmaiden,” an erotic thriller movie by award-winning director Park Chan-wook.
Wrapping up the year, Google Korea on Thursday released a list of 10 most searched words between Jan. 1 and Dec. 10.
The hit movie “The Handmaiden” attracted over 4.2 million viewers in local theaters, and has been sold to 175 countries after garnering attention at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
Coming in second place was popular TV series “Descendants of the Sun,” a love story between a doctor and army captain set in the fictional war-torn country of Uruk.
It was the most searched for TV series in a number of Asian countries, including Hong Kong and Singapore, Google said. On a global scale, “Descendants of the Sun” was the ninth most googled TV series.
Choi Soon-sil, who is at the center of the ongoing presidential scandal for exerting undue influence in the current administration, was the fifth most googled word here.
Among other top search terms was “Lee Se-dol”, a Korean Go champion who played five historic matches against Google’s artificial intelligence computer AlphaGo last March.
Meanwhile, the most googled term by people worldwide was “Pokemon Go,” a location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic.
The Pokemon Go craze that landed in Korea this summer led Google to push the Korean government to permit its map service here, as the game uses Google Map. The transport ministry has since disapproved of Google’s request.
The fifth most googled term was “Powerball”, the largest jackpot in the world worth a total of $1.56 billion (1.74 trillion won) that was divided among three winners in January.
The “Olympics” was the only overlapping term between overall rankings for Korea and worldwide. It was Korea‘s ninth most searched for term and the eighth worldwide. Searches for the term soared in mid-August when the 2016 Rio Olympics took place.
By Kim Bo-gyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)