After promoting a new variety programme dubbed “Squid’s Victory”, Chinese streaming giant Youku has come under criticism for allegedly plagiarising Netflix hit Squid Game. Contestants will likely compete in “large-scale kids’ games,” similar to Squid Game. Its posters are almost identical to those of the Korean hit.
Netizens condemned the “shameless” platform for its lack of originality. Youku has apologised in response and stated that it was merely a “draft” poster.
“Due to a work error, the first draft of the new Game’s Victory show – which was shot down before – was mistakenly used in promotional activities at a trade fair,” the streaming giant wrote on micro-blogging site Weibo, further attaching a different poster for a show titled Game’s Victory to the post.
Social Media users were in a frenzy and continued to criticise.
“It sounds like such a lame cover-up. Obviously, they had tried to rip off Squid Game because of how popular it is,” a Weibo user wrote.
Others expressed their displeasure with the amount of Korean content plagiarised by Chinese producers. The popular rap music competition show The Rap Of China, for example, has been accused of being a rip-off of Show Me The Money from South Korea.
“Why can’t our producers come up with our own ideas? This is so embarrassing,” a comment read.
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Even though it is not officially released in China, Squid Game, the global blockbuster show about children’s games, has become extremely popular there. Netflix is not available in China, so many viewers have had to rely on illegal streaming services or downloads to see the show.
Youku, with its subscriber base ranging from 90 to 100 million, is one of China’s most popular streaming platforms.
In recent years, China and Korea have had a number of cultural clashes. China was slammed last year when it claimed to be the leader in the kimchi industry, it was accused of “stealing Korean culture.”