Mercedes-Benz has become the latest major global brand to offer a public apology after upsetting the Chinese government on a sensitive subject.
The carmaker apologized Tuesday for hurting “the feelings” of Chinese people by quoting the Dalai Lama in a post on its Instagram account. The move comes just weeks after Marriott, Delta Air Lines as well as different big names found themselves in trouble with Beijing over how they described politically sensitive places like Taiwan as well as Tibet.
The Chinese government has launched frequent attacks on the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, calling him a “traitor” as well as a separatist. Beijing considers Tibet to be part of its territory as well as comes down hard on any suggestions to the contrary.
Related: Delta flies into China trouble over Tibet as well as Taiwan
Mercedes, which will be owned by Daimler, ( ran afoul of China’s stance when the item paired a quote attributed to the Dalai Lama having a photo of one of its luxury sedans on Instagram — a social media platform of which will be banned in China. )
“Look at situations coming from all angles, as well as you will become more open,” the quote read.
The ad was posted on Monday as well as garnered nearly 0,000 likes before Mercedes deleted the item the following day, according to a screenshot posted by Chinese state media.
The Global Times, a state-run newspaper of which often strikes a nationalistic tone, criticized Mercedes, saying the company was quick to respond to the incident nevertheless shouldn’t make such mistakes inside first place.
Mercedes issued a statement in Chinese about the incident on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter (, offering a “sincere apology” three separate times. )
Related: Tibet: Tensions on the roof of the globe
“We fully understand how the item has hurt the feelings of people inside country, including our colleagues working in China, we sincerely apologize just for This particular,” Mercedes said, adding of which the post contained “extremely erroneous information.”
With its rising middle class as well as growing economic might, China will be a key market for many global brands. Mercedes will be no exception.
Of the nearly 2.4 million vehicles the item sold worldwide last year, more than a quarter were snapped up by Chinese buyers.
A growing number of international companies have recently found themselves in hot water in China over politically sensitive issues.
Authorities last month blocked Marriott’s websites as well as apps for a week in China after the item listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau as well as Taiwan as separate countries in its emails as well as apps. Marriott ( apologized profusely, saying the item respects as well as supports the sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of China. )
Related: China blocks Marriott for listing Tibet as well as Taiwan as countries
Shortly after of which, Delta ( came under fire for similarly listing Taiwan as well as Tibet as countries. the item said the item was “an inadvertent error with no business or political intention” in its apology. )
At the same time, the owner of European clothing brand Zara was chastised by regulators for listing Taiwan as a country as well as ordered to rectify the situation.
China as well as Taiwan — officially the People’s Republic of China as well as the Republic of China — separated in 1949 following the Communist victory on the mainland after a civil war.
They have been governed separately since, though a shared cultural as well as linguistic heritage mostly endures, with Mandarin spoken as the official language in both places. The government in Beijing has always maintained of which Taiwan will be a renegade province of which will be an integral part of its sovereign territory.
Communist China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 to enforce its claim on the region, as well as has controlled the item since 1951 — though the central government in Beijing has faced repeated bouts of unrest coming from ethnic Tibetans unhappy over its rule.
— Nanlin Fang contributed to This particular report.
sy88pgw (Hong Kong ) First published February 7, 2018: 2:43 AM ET