The allegations came after promotional material for Youku’s new variety series Squid’s Victory was released.
As per the BBC, similar to Squid Game’s fictional premise, the show will see contestants compete in a number of challenges involving “large-scale kids’ games”.
Many people also pointed out the striking similarities between the poster for Squid’s Victory and that of Squid Game.
Viewers accused Youku of “blatantly” copying the hit Korean-language series, and called the comparison “humiliating”.
Youku – one of China’s most popular streaming platforms with an estimated subscriber count of 90m to 100m – has since apologised, stating that the promotional material seen by people was only a “draft” poster.
“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 streaming company wrote on Weibo, a platform similar to Twitter.
The Chinese streamer accompanied the post with a noticeably different poster for a show now titled Game’s Victory instead.
People on social media, however, were not entirely convinced by the apology.
One user on Weibo, as reported by the BBC, called Youku’s apology a “lame cover-up”.
Since its debut on 17 September, Squid Game has become Netflix’s most successful show of all time.
The streamer revealed that the thriller-drama has been watched by 142m households around the world.
Although Netflix is not available in China, the series has still been successful in the country due to viewers watching Squid Game on illegal streaming sites or by downloading torrents.