Chinese Streaming Platform Criticised For 'Blatantly' Copying Squid Game
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A Chinese streaming service has come under fire for allegedly plagiarising South Korean Netflix series Squid Game.
According to the BBC, promotional material for a new variety show called Squid's Victory surfaced online, prompting social media users to criticise the streaming service Youku for 'blatantly' what they believe was a copied concept.
With Netflix unavailable in China, it's believed many viewers streamed Squid Game on illegal sites or by downloading torrents.
Many people expressed their outrage on Weibo and Twitter, with one writing: "Humiliating LOL. It's called SQUID'S VICTORY."
Someone else said: "It's not even a small site. Isn't YOUKU really famous in China..? But they are blatantly copying it? So classy hahahahaha I'm not even surprised anymore with their fakes."
Another commented: "For real...??? Is this for real??"
A fourth added: "Shame on #Youku!"
Youku - which is one of China's most popular streaming platforms with an estimated 90-100 million subscribers - has since responded to the backlash, claiming the material people had seen was actually only a 'draft' poster, which had been used at a trade event 'mistakenly'.
The streaming company wrote on Weibo: "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 post was accompanied by a different poster for the show, which had the new title of Game's Victory.
As well as similarities within the design of the posters for Squid Game and Game's Victory, like the hit Netflix show, Youku's programme is also set to revolve around children's games, according to Koreaboo.com.
The website reports: "The show will have contestants who will compete with one another in different challenges featuring numerous Chinese children's games."
Squid Game was recently named the most watched Netflix TV series in its history, with the streaming site saying earlier this month that 111 million accounts had binged through the show, smashing the previous top spot held by Bridgerton (82 million).
The storyline followers a number of cash-strapped characters compete against each other in a selection of deadly children's games for a share in a $38.5 million (£28m) prize.
And since it debuted on the streaming platform on 17 September, it's become a worldwide sensation, sparking a million memes, jokes, Halloween outfits and fan theories.