Park Bo-gum Tops Yoo Jae-suk as Most-Searched Star Online
Actor Park Bo-gum, who enjoyed soaring popularity with the TV series "Reply 1988" and "Love in the Moonlight," was the most-searched entertainer on the Internet this year in Korea, according to big data analysis by SK Telecom.
Park generated 792,560 mentions this year.
Next was comedian Yoo Jae-suk, who was mentioned 377,018 times online this year, followed by Park Yu-chun of boy band JYJ (339,966). The singer was investigated by police when four women came forward to accuse him of rape.
In fourth and eighth places were Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo of the megahit TV series "Descendants of the Sun" with 274,393 and 96,755 mentions.
In fifth place was baduk or go champion Lee Se-dol who lost against Google DeepMind's proto-artificial intelligence program AlphaGo (268,023).
Figure skating ace Kim Yu-na generated 166,237 mentions to come sixth place, and swimming star Park Tae-hwan ninth with 75,099.
Considering that Kim retired from competitive sport in 2014 and Park won no medals in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, their names appear to have mainly generated buzz because of their tenuous link to the massive crony scandal that brought down President Park Geun-hye.
Kim Chong, former vice minister of culture, sports and tourism, who has ties to Park Geun-hye's crony Choi Soon-sil, is accused of pressuring the swimmer to think twice about competing in Rio and harboring a grudge against Kim, who was mistakenly seen as snubbing the president.
Seventh was actress Kim Min-hee, who eloped with director Hong Sang-soo in a torrid May-to-September romance. Kim generated 109,034 mentions and Hong 58,143.
In 10th place was Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Kang Jung-ho, who was booked for drunk driving and accused of rape, with 71,489 mentions.