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From Cars to ‘ARMY Bombs’: Chip Crunch in the K-Pop World!

a hindrance k-pop band Get ready to go back on stage or live stream new shows after being sidelined by the pandemic, with fans discovering that the global chip crisis has gripped a world of catchy tunes, flashy outfits and elaborate dance routines too Is.

Light sticks, an essential accessory for the hard-core South Korean pop enthusiastBecause of the lack of production, anything from smartphones to cars has become costly and difficult.

Glowing fans during concerts and virtual events are fitted with so-called microcontrollers for power management and connect with phones to change colors, and highlight how the lights go through various industries and aspects of everyday life. From how far has the squeeze spread?

“ARMY” or the cost of light sticks used by fans mega band bts and referred to as the “ARMY bomb,” has risen from $2 to $59 since October 1, with the Weavershop owned by Hyb Entertainment blaming the “persistent global semiconductor shortage.”

A fan of K-pop idol boy band BTS watches a live streaming online concert wearing a protective mask to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a cafe in Seoul, South Korea (REUTERS/Heo Ran) /File picture)

“I’m sure the prices won’t be too high because a lot of ARMYs and other fans can’t even afford such prices,” said Parvushina Elizaveta, an entertainment company employee and BTS fan from Estepona, Spain. Fans of South Korean boy band SEVENTEEN will have to spend $3 more for their light stick, while supporters of acts like EXO, SHINee, Girls’ Generation and YG Entertainment’s Blackpink are completely out of luck. SM Entertainment’s global outlet stated that EXO, SHINee and Girls’ Generation fanlights were sold out, while Blackpink’s were out of stock on the band’s official website.

Hybe, SM Entertainment and others Top Korean Entertainment Companies Did not respond to requests for comment. whereas Grammy-Nominated BTS With plans to perform live in Los Angeles in November and December for the first time since the pandemic, other South Korean acts are scheduling shows online. Still, fans are eager to make the most of it, which includes having a light stick on and sharing messages in chat rooms. “It’s a fun way to connect with other fans around the world, so when you get the chance to enjoy a concert from home you can somehow feel part of something amazing!” said Starla Stafford, a fan from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

long wait

Minimizing pain, the semiconductors in light sticks are manufactured using older technologies and such low-end chips face the biggest drawback right now, said Jim Handy, an analyst at semiconductor market research firm Objective Analysis. Manufacturers said the waiting time for semiconductor deliveries has now increased to six months, as against the usual around two months. “I already ordered the microcontroller chips, hopefully the live events will come back next year, because the delivery time is longer,” said Ashton Jungmin Choi, co-founder of FanLite, a Seoul-based company. As in BTS, EXO and SuperM.

He said shipping charges have tripled, and the chips cost 30% more than a year ago. “Any light stick is very hard to get. They are always in demand and BTS Army bombs have been impossible to get,” said Mette Kiddle, owner of Denmark-based K-pop merchandise retailer All in Kpop, which has opened a new store in the country this month. increasing demand. The two-time fanlights sold out faster than usual, Kiddle said, when the girl group teased the upcoming tour in the final scenes of their newly released all-English single “The Feel”.

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