Vietnamese bloggers’ theft of Chinese YouTuber’s content sparks anger among netizens in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/15 20:03:36

Li Ziqi is an influential Chinese blogger whose food and rural life videos have gained a huge following on YouTube. While her rise in fame has its benefits, it also has a darker side as it has led to her videos being plagiarized or outright stolen by other bloggers on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. 

Screenshot from YouTube

While this type of piracy is sure to have a financial impact, it has also led to some confusion about Li's nationality, to the point that Li felt it necessary to issue a statement about her nationality. 

Over the past two years, some Vietnamese bloggers have collected and reposted her video clips, adding subtitles in Vietnamese without specifying the source. 

In another case, an account on Facebook named "Liziqi TV @liziqitv90," has been sharing Li's video clips while claiming them as their own. 

On June 9, a video was uploaded with the title "Duck Fermented Bean Curd in South Vietnam," which is quite misleading and could mislead viewers to believe the video was shot in Vietnam, and that Li's nationality could be Vietnamese. 

Pirating of Li's videos dates back to as early as July 2018. At the time some Chinese netizens posted on Li's Facebook home, saying that "Some people from Vietnam have posted your video on YouTube. Please check it out."

Some investigative netizens discovered that some Vietnamese bloggers were using the Vietnamese transliteration of "Li Ziqi" as their account name and directly copying Li's YouTube avatar to post copies of her original videos. The number of reposts of these videos has reached tens of thousands. 

Given the widespread nature of this plagiarism and the confusion it had caused concerning her nationality, in March 2019 Li released a statement through her official YouTube account, saying that she had noticed that many netizens changed her nationality after reposting her video clips.

Li Ziqi stressed that she is Chinese, and is very proud of her nationality, and that all her videos were shot in China.

The piracy has become a hot topic on Chinese social media with many fans offering Li suggestions on how to tackle the problem. "Report it to the platforms, no need to be polite," commented one netizen. 

A netizen nicknamed Aries, however, looked at the piracy from another angle, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." 

Aries stance was that the rampant plagiarism shows how Vietnamese netizens resonate with Li and that they have a deep respect for her. He noted it also demonstrates how the foundation of Vietnam's cultural aesthetic consciousness still shows the deep marks of Chinese culture.

Another comment replying to Aries, said that there are two types of imitation, one is where someone wants to pay tribute to and imitate Li, while the other is all about making money and will only acknowledge the source of the plagiarized content after they have been caught. 

As of Monday, Li Ziqi has earned more than 10.8 million subscribers on YouTube. 

Neither Li nor the owner of in Facebook has replied to comment.
Newspaper headline: Chinese netizens divided over pirating of famous YouTuber Li Ziqi’s videos

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