The US confectionery firm Mars Wrigley has stated that it “respects China’s national sovereignty” and apologized after an advertising for its Snickers bar referred to Taiwan as a country, provoking fury in China.
China’s social media quickly adopted screenshots of promotion for the nutty confections featuring the South Korean pop group BTS.
“We are aware of allegations regarding Snickers-related actions in specific countries of Asia, take this matter very seriously, and extend our sincerest apologies,” read a Mars Wrigley statement put on the company’s Sina Weibo account on Friday.
The firm has requested that Snickers’ marketing team review and amend its official website and social media pages “to verify the accuracy of the company’s publicity content,” according to the statement.
“Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and conducts business in complete line with Chinese local rules and regulations,” the company said in a statement.
Snickers China issued a second statement on Weibo hours after the first, stating that “there is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”
China announced on Friday that it was halting collaboration with the United States on crucial subjects such as climate change, and has encircled Taiwan in a series of military drills over the previous several days.
Mars Wrigley is not the first international company to apologize over fears of losing access to China’s vast consumer market.
In 2019, the French luxury brand Dior issued an apology for using a map of China in a presentation that omitted Taiwan.
In 2018, the Chinese government took down the website for hotel brand Marriott in China for one week after a customer questionnaire listed Taiwan, Tibet, and Hong Kong separately from China.
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