CJ E&M publishes results of online poll of overseas fans at Mwave (


K-POP and K-POP artists are winning fans around the world. CJ E&M takes a look at which K-POP artists are popular in which countries, part of the results of a survey it ran to find out about global K-POP tastes.

CJ E&M Smart Media Business Unit polled overseas fans online through its Mnet M Countdown rankings at the global K-Culture platform ‘Mwave’ ( from January to December 2013. Fans from 178 countries participated in the poll. F(x) proved the most popular K-POP artist with 16.4 percent of the votes.

F(x) came top thanks to particularly strong support in China. Close on their heels were Shinhwa with 15.1 percent, Kim Hyun-Joong with 9.3 percent, EXO with 6.5 percent, and SHINee with 5.4 percent. That K-POP has become a global phenomenon was easy to see, with fans polled not only from Southeast Asia, where K-POP has long been very popular, but also from countries such as Zimbabwe, Tonga, Congo, Jamaica, Uganda, the Maldives, and Fiji.

Examining the top K-POP artists by country shows some interesting contrasts.

EXO was unstoppable in English speaking countries across North America and Oceania

The popular idol group EXO were found to be especially popular in English speaking countries across North America and Oceania. EXO saw off TEEN TOP, SHINee and INFINITE to rank top in the US with 11.1 percent and in Canada with 12.1 percent. Compare EXOs top-ranking 13.4 percent overall with SHINees 3.2 percent in North America and Oceania.

SHINee shines in Europe and Russia

SHINee proved hugely popular in Europe. They topped the list in Britain and France, polling 15.4 percent and 11 percent respectively, as well as in Poland where they gained 13.4 percent of the vote. Italy and Spain also voted SHINee top with 15.4 percent and 8.6 percent respectively. SHINee was the most popular K-POP artist in Russia with 22.7 percent, followed by B.A.P with 12.1 percent and EXO with 10.4 percent.

Southeast Asia, the birthplace of Hallyu, favors distinctly different K-POP artists

Southeast Asia can be rightly considered the birthplace of Hallyu. Interestingly, there are distinct differences in which K-POP artists are most popular in South Asia as opposed to the rest of the world. In China, f(x) was ranked the number one K-POP artist with 27.1 percent of the vote, with Shinhwa second. F(x) and Shinhwa, combined, account for over 50 percent of the Chinese vote, proving their domination of the popular vote. Japanese fans voted most for Kim Hyun-Joong from SS501 with 19 percent, with f(x) and TEEN TOP coming second and third, respectively. In Taiwan, FT Island topped the rankings with 24 percent, ahead of SHINee and TEEN TOP who were placed second and third respectively, and H from INFINITE and INFINITE in fourth and fifth, respectively. Showing that girl power is still strong, 2NE1 was the most popular K-POP group in the Philippines, ahead of B.A.P at 12.1 percent and EXO at 10.4 percent.

In addition, EXO was voted the most popular K-POP artist in India, Henry from Super Junior proved most popular in Saudi Arabia, with SHINee in Mexico and f(x) in Brazil. Meanwhile, Korean fans voted EXO the most popular group with 12.4 percent.

CJ E&M Smart Media Business Unit said: “There is a noticeable difference in the rankings of K-POP artists by country, reflecting national and cultural traits and how actively K-POP artists have been in each country. Big data analysis from Mwave can provide important insight for overseas concerts and promotional strategies.”

Mwave provides free K-POP video clips, photos, and news for foreign Hallyu fans around the world, helping to feed the desire for the latest K-POP stories from around the world. Mwave offers a multilingual service with English, Japanese, and Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) contents so that more global K-POP fans than ever can use the service and participate in the survey. Foreign fans can have a real-time communication experience with artists at MEET&GREET (, an online program with the concept of offering an autograph session and purchasing the MD goods of their artists.