• Legend of the Blue Sea

Legend of the Blue Sea (Photo : J Crown/You Tube)

China’s ban on Hallyu appears to be implemented on and off. While Lee Kwang-soo’s “Sound of Your Heart” got more than 1 million views on Sohu TV since it aired on Nov. 7 on the video streaming platform, negotiations to show two recent Korean TV series were stopped because of the prohibition.

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Were it not for the halt, “Legend of the Blue Sea” and “Guardian: The Lonely and Great God” could have been sold for at least 10 billion won each, under normal circumstances, Yonhap News reported. However, to go around the ban, Chinese netizens are viewing pirated versions of the two Korean dramas through social networking portals such as Weibo. The fantasy mermaid series by SBS.

Nevertheless, “Legend of the Blue Sea” was acquired by Chinese video platform iQiyi – where “Descendants of the Sun” aired from late February to mid-April – and has so far reached 112 million views from Episode 1 to 8. The mermaid fantasy drama produced by SBS also set record for most view in Taiwan with an average of 140,000 views per episode, according to Soompi.

In South Korea, “Legend of the Blue Sea” registered a 21.3 percent rating by Nielsen Korea in the Seoul Metropolitan Area. Outside Asia, the drama also has high rating in the Americas, Europe and Oceania.

However, the drama has been hit by an accusation, Inquisitr reported. A Korean screenwriter with the surname Park claimed that the plot of “Legend of the Blue Sea” is very similar to a movie screenplay she wrote 10 years ago, titled “The Legend of Hae Wol Sea: Pearly Shells.” She insisted some of the elements of her screenplay such as mermaids and situations in her drama ended up in the ongoing series which stars Lee Mon Ho and Jun Ji-Hyun.

Park stressed she is not accusing writers of “Legend of the Blue Sea” of plagiarism, although her disclaimer is over fear of being sued by major networks such as SBS.