There is shady and there is flat out a violation of intellectual property rights. Sadly the Chinese government is basically allowing a black market sweep of hit Korean shows after it imposed an unofficially announced but officially in place screw tightening on Hallyu entertainment after the South Korean government went ahead and installed the THAAD missile defense system last year. This year C-netizens have noticed two hit shows that bear striking if not total resemblance to popular Korean programs – China Has Hip-hop is a ripoff of Show Me the Money and food program Chinese Restaurant is a copycat of Youn’s Kitchen.
All C-shows have to receive filming approval prior to production kickoff and a new C-drama called My Teenage Years has submitted a synopsis that C-netizens have noted is a complete carbon copy of ratings monster hit Answer Me 1988. In previous years China has remade hit Korean variety and dramas but with proper licensing and I’ve enjoyed both the original and the Chinese spinoffs for adding different takes but straight up copying without paying royalties and attribution just because the Chinese government has an unofficial wrench towards South Korean entertainment is so beyond the pale I can’t even. These shows are totally worth skipping for this alone.