Critics Claim Chinese Sitcom Blatantly Rips Off “Friends”

The Chinese have been no saints when it comes to the issue of copyright infringement and patent violations. This time critics are saying the Chinese have ripped off an American icon that isn’t a type of gadget or a recorded work.

Critics claim that the Chinese television show “iPartment” is a blatant rip off of the smash American hit “Friends“.

The critics of the show have popped up all over Chinese Social Networks claiming that iPartment shares its character, settings, plot lines and even their jokes with Friends.

They also claim the show rips off other American icons like “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory”.

The show has only been on in China for three years but it was always carried locally. It was recently picked up by a Chinese satellite TV provider and is being broadcast all over the world. That is when the critics came out of the wood works.

On Chinese critic of the show told The Daily Telegraph,

“Is [Ipartment] only intended for those born after 1990, who have not watched “Friends”? Many lines and scenes have been completely ripped off from American shows,”

iPartment follows two sets of people as they live their mid-20’s lives in downtown Shanghai.

A representative for the show told the telegraph that the show is clean and not taking its writing from anyone.

The representative, Mr. Cao, reportedly told the Chinese newspaper Southern Metropolis,

“We didn’t copy the American sitcom. Comedies have stereotypes, like the handsome man, the gorgeous woman, the cheap man and so on. They have that in many comedies. Our creation is not plagiarism, but more a homage to the American sitcom.”

The English language Chinese News Site, The Gobal Times, says the show did admit that they pay various producers for certain jokes. They also admitted that they got their jokes from “various sources”.