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Keyword Search for Squid Game Goods are Banned across China’s Online Stores

Keyword searches for “Squid Game” in China’s major e-commerce platforms are reportedly producing no results. Due to the country’s tight content licensing laws, the popular Netflix series has not been distributed in China. Read on for more of the latest SG news you can get regularly!

A brief information about Squid Game

Netflix’s survival thriller has already racked up massive audience numbers around the world, but those figures are unlikely to reflect the actual scale of its popularity, given that the show, which was previously assumed to be prohibited in China, has reportedly been watched by millions of Chinese viewers.

If you’ve been missing out on the latest news in Singapore or have been living under a rock for some reason, the main plot of this popular dystopian Korean survival drama is about 456 adults with rising debt playing children’s activities to win 45.6 billion won (about 38 million US dollars), which released on Netflix in mid-September.

Those who fail to accomplish the challenges are eliminated from the game series, either by the activity’s terrible repercussions or by the enigmatic mask-wearing personnel that operates the games. Given the show’s level of brutality and many of its topics, it’s unlikely that it’ll ever be released on television.

Despite the fact that Netflix is not available in mainland China, tens of thousands of Chinese internet users have discovered publicly available information on where to watch Squid Game illegally, including illicit streaming video sites, peer-to-peer downloads, and cloud storage services.

Squid Game will not be adapted into Chinese because the program is too gloomy and its ideology does not fit the country’s popular norms, according to an executive at iQiyi (a Chinese streaming video platform similar to YouTube), which is also majorly owned by Baidu.

Dropping the hammer

Major Chinese e-commerce platforms appear to have prohibited keyword searches for things related to the hit Netflix show Squid Game, prompting merchants to invent workarounds for customers to find these items online.

A keyword search using “Squid Game” on Taobao Marketplace,, and Pinduoduo revealed no results, according to the South China Morning Post. Alibaba Group Holding, which also owns the South China Morning Post, runs Taobao, China’s largest online retail platform.

According to Straits Times and the Post’s internet research, several big Chinese e-commerce platforms appear to have prohibited keyword searches for “Squid Game”-related products in China. Alternative keywords such as “squid mask,” “Halloween costume,” and “Korea” have been used by online toy sellers to get past the prohibition.

There’s always some workarounds

Zeng, an online toy seller from Yiwu in eastern Zhejiang province, said he discovered on Monday that his Squid Game-related products were not available on the major e-commerce platforms when he used the show’s title as a keyword search.

They have tried other phrases like ‘squid mask’ to search for these items and it worked according to Zeng added, who also declined to give his full name due to potential copyright difficulties. He added that on these platforms, only ‘Squid Game’ can be used to search.

In view of the show’s tremendous popularity in China, Zeng said he exclusively offered Squid Game-related products in his online store to assist generate more traffic. AsiaOne Singapore has also talked about how the show has not been officially published due to Beijing’s rigorous content licensing requirements.

Squid Game’s widespread popularity, as evidenced by the search workarounds supplied by internet businesses, is expected to continue creating a windfall for them in the near future.


To capitalize on the blockbuster show, factories in mainland China are busy cranking out Squid Game-related merchandise for domestic and international consumers. The black face masks, jumpsuits, and track kits worn by the characters in the nine-episode survival drama television series are among these items.

It’s unclear how long Squid Game’s popularity will remain, according to an Hangzhou-based online merchant who declined to be named, but vendors must take advantage of the current opportunity. Since listing Squid Game-related products on his online site, Zeng, a Yiwu merchant, has reported no significant increase in visitors, an indication that its popularity is coming to an end eventually.