Chinese streaming platform Youku's brand new game show, Squid Victory, gained attention after being dubbed as a 'rip-off' of Netflix's Squid Game. Youku is one of the most popular entertainment platforms in China with as many as 90 million subscribers. On the other hand, Netflix, which streams superhit show Squid Game, is banned in China. Youku allegedly faced criticism after a poster for their brand new game show, Squid Victory, was shared online.
Critics claimed that the Chinese game show Squid Victory copies both the content and design of the popular Korean series Squid Game. The new game show was announced Wednesday, October 20. BBC reports that contestants are expected to take part in a number of 'large-scale kids' games' in the new show. The branding of Squid Victory was also reported to be similar to the distinctive design used by creators of Squid Game. People blasted the show on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, and called the copying 'shameful'.
Who owns Youku?
Youku is a leading multi-screen entertainment and media company in China that enables users to search, view, and share high-quality video content quickly and easily across multiple devices. Founded by Victor Koo, it operates as a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Limited.
In response to the backlash faced over the Squid Game 'rip off', Youku released a statement saying that they "made an error". "We mistakenly used the initial design that had already been killed previously. We're sincerely sorry for the misunderstanding caused, " the statement added. It also noted that the name of its new show had also been changed to Game's Victory.
Chinese firms have been accused of 'copying' time and again
This is not the first time a Chinese firm has come into bad light for copying. About £3 million ($41,27,997) worth of Chinese-made fake designer-label goods were seized by Border Force officials in late 2019. Counterfeit Gucci scarves and fake Nike trainers were among the items confiscated in a crackdown on organised crime gangs trying to exploit the UK market. According to Home Office officials, all the 'Christmas counterfeits' that were seized between November and December 2019 originated in China.
Around 1300 counterfeit Chanel, Burberry, and Gucci scarves worth an estimated £900,000 ($12,38,399) were seized at London Gateway Port. Officials at the Milton Keynes inland pre-clearance centre confiscated 850 fake Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Nike, Champion, and Converse bags and trainers worth £842,000 ($11,58,591). In 2015, a Chinese sports car faced backlash after car experts claimed it looked suspiciously like a Ferrari and Porsche combined.