Ever since Beijing won its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, China has been embroiled in one controversy after another.
First, there were activists and campaigners who argued the country wasn’t suitable to hold the Games because of its poor human rights track record. The abuse allegations were followed by environmentalists, who scrutinized the decision, saying China didn’t have the vast snowy lands that its contender Almaty, Kazakhstan, boasted of.
Now, just days after making history as the first country to host both summer and winter Olympics, China is facing a huge controversy regarding one of its official theme songs for the grand event.
As it turns out, “The Snow and Ice Dance,” one of the 10 songs released a couple of months ago for the Winter Olympics, sounds a lot like Disney’s popular ballad “Let It Go.”
Here’s the song performed by the Chinese duo Sun Nan and Tan Jing.
To put things into perspective, here’s the Oscar-winning tune sung by Idina Menzel for the mega-hit animated movie Frozen.
They sound so alike is because both ballads begin with an eight-beat piano intro, identical tempos, share similar instruments and use the same prelude chords, according to a Chinese magazine. To put it simply, “The Snow and Ice Dance” sounds like it could be the Chinese version of “Let It Go.”
This has also drawn the ire of Chinese netizens, whose negative comments have piled up on the song’s YouTube page. However, since the video sharing website is banned in the country, it’s unclear how many of those comments in mandarin are actually from mainland China.
Xiao Junfeng, spokeswoman for the Beijing Games’ organizing committee, declined to comment because she lacks of the authority to do so. Disney Studios hasn't issued any statement against this apparent plagiarism.
However, since this song has already been out for a while, chances are the composers won’t face any legal charges. Although they might want to write another song for the games – unless they want Queen Elsa’s magical powers to make it snow.