China's leading online video site mired in controversy for allegedly plagiarizing 'Squid Game'
Published: Oct 21, 2021 02:27 AM
Photo: Screenshot of Weibo

Promotional poster of "Victory of Squid" Photo: Screenshot of Weibo

China's leading online video site Youku Tudou is mired in wide controversy as its new entertainment show is allegedly a copy of Netflix's hit show Squid Game with many netizens calling it "shameful."

The show, initially named "Victory of Squid," was promoted by Youku on an investment fair on Wednesday. Yet observant netizens soon spotted that key words in the advertisement like "challenge," "kid's game," and the pink circles and triangular symbols in the poster, extremely resemble elements of Netflix's hit show "Squid Game".

Youku soon triggered torrents of criticism from netizens who overwhelmingly called it "shameful." One Sina Weibo user said that "this is blatant plagiarism, why can't you [Youku] come up with an original name but copy a South Korean show?" 

The hashtag "Youku's show 'Victory' is the 'Squid Games'" soon became a trend topic on Sina Weibo but was later deleted. 

Adding insult to injury, media reported that Netflix responded saying that it did not discuss copyright issues with the Chinese platform.

Youku soon apologized saying that it made mistakes on its initial promotional plan on the fair and the name of the entertainment show should be "Victory of Games." 

Yet such apology failed to persuade netizens who called it a "cheap lie" adding that Youku should not plagiarize content. 

Although the hashtag "Youku's show 'Victory' is the 'Squid Games'" is gone, relevant hashtags, such as "Netflix responds to Youku's Victory of Squid," and "Youku apologized" is still active with each reaching 5.5 million and 2.1 million views within hours.