China Copies 34 South Korean TV Shows, Plagiarism Hits Record High

China Copies 34 South Korean TV Shows, Plagiarism Hits Record High
Fans of the TV Show "Super Girl Voice" watch and cheer for their favorite contestants at a bar on Aug. 26, 2005 in Shanghai, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)

There is no stopping the Chinese when it comes to counterfeiting the most brands from all over the world, including TV programs. Under the Chinese Communist Party’s rule, China has become the leader in producing the largest amount of counterfeit goods. According to recent South Korean statistics, China ranked the highest compared to other countries that violate intellectual property rights. In the past four years, 34 Korean TV programs have reportedly been copied by China. Some critics say that China’s theft of intellectual property is the result of communist rule.

Unprecedented Level of Plagiarism

South Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily reported on Oct. 7  Korean lawmaker Kim Seong-su disclosed that China has copied 34 Korean TV programs between 2014 and 2018. All of the programs were produced in China without any copyright permission, according to the report.

Among some of the plagiarized shows, ten were originally produced by SBS TV, seven by KBS, six by TVN, five by JTBC, and three each from MBC and Mnet.

Korean TV shows have striking similarities with their Chinese spin-offs. Fans of the reality show “My Little Old Boy,” produced by Korea’s SBS TV, can instantly recognize the similarities found in a new program called “My Little One,” launched by Hunan TV, China’s largest provincial satellite television channel. “Our Law,” produced by China’s Anhui TV, is a copy of South Korea’s reality-documentary show “Law of the Jungle.” China’s “The Chinese Restaurant” is a copy of South Korean reality show “Youn’s Kitchen.” China’s “Dear Inn” resembles South Korea’s “Hyoris’ Homestay.” South Korea’s "Three Meals a Day," a popular cooking-reality show, has been reproduced in China under the title "The Life We Long For."

During the Cannes Film Festival in April, the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA), an organization that represents television format producers and distributors, released data which showed that China’s “Idol Producer,” produced by online video platform iQIYI, was almost identical to South Korean reality show “Produce 101.” The analysis concluded that the Chinese show scored 88% on FRAPA’s scale of infringement when compared with the Korean show–the highest score ever recorded for an alleged infringement, FRAPA said.

South Korean media cited data from an official report published in 2017 (on the infringement of intellectual property rights) that 7,263 items were infringed upon by other countries, and China accounted for 94.5 percent of them–making it the biggest country for plagiarizing the most goods.

In January, South Korean lawmakers issued a bill (that would have gone into effect in July) to protect the country’s cultural and intellectual property in TV and music from being plagiarized by other countries. The Chinese media interpreted the move as a tough policy targeting China.

China not only plagiarizes South Korean TV shows but it also steals various goods, including advanced technology and military technology from other countries. China expert Chu Ying said under the Chinese Communist Party’s control, China has become notorious for plagiarizing and stealing because it is unable to innovate.

China observer Hu He said, “The CCP always does this (stealing), thus during the trade war, the U.S. blocks the CCP from stealing foreign advanced technology.”

According to a 2017 report by the United States Trade Representative, Chinese theft of American intellectual property currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually. The report mentioned that the CCP used various forms to steal U.S. intellectual property.
Plagiarism has become a common phenomenon in China and it is caused by communism. Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told media in 2012 that the Chinese regime represses its own citizens, so they are unable to think freely or innovate. China and other similar countries produce many engineers and scientists but few innovators. He said, “It’s impossible to think different in a country where you can’t speak freely. It’s impossible to think different when you have to worry what you put on the Internet will either be confiscated or you will be arrested.” It is impossible for China to dominate the world.

China expert Zhang Jian said, “When everyone in China relies on plagiarism, counterfeit goods and fake products, they will become dishonest and immoral, and will only be driven by money (instead of morale).”