Mercedes-Benz hits pothole in China with Dalai Lama post

Mercedes-Benz has become the latest major global brand to offer a public apology af...

Posted: Feb 7, 2018 1:14 PM
Updated: Feb 7, 2018 1:14 PM

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 and other big names found themselves in trouble with Beijing over how they described politically sensitive places like Taiwan and Tibet.

The Chinese government has launched frequent attacks on the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, calling him a "traitor" and a separatist. Beijing considers Tibet to be part of its territory and comes down hard on any suggestions to the contrary.

Related: Delta flies into China trouble over Tibet and Taiwan

Mercedes, which is owned by Daimler, ran afoul of China's stance when it paired a quote attributed to the Dalai Lama with a photo of one of its luxury sedans on Instagram -- a social media platform that is banned in China.

"Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open," the quote read.

The ad was posted on Monday and garnered nearly 90,000 likes before Mercedes deleted it the following day, according to a screenshot posted by Chinese state media.

The Global Times, a state-run newspaper that often strikes a nationalistic tone, criticized Mercedes, saying the company was quick to respond to the incident but shouldn't make such mistakes in the 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 world

"We fully understand how it has hurt the feelings of people in the country, including our colleagues working in China, we sincerely apologize for this," Mercedes said, adding that the post contained "extremely erroneous information."

With its rising middle class and growing economic might, China is a key market for many global brands. Mercedes is no exception.

Of the nearly 2.4 million vehicles it 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 and apps for a week in China after it listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate countries in its emails and apps. Marriott apologized profusely, saying it respects and supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

Related: China blocks Marriott for listing Tibet and Taiwan as countries

Shortly after that, Delta came under fire for similarly listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries. It said it 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 and ordered to rectify the situation.

China and Taiwan -- officially the People's Republic of China and 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 and linguistic heritage mostly endures, with Mandarin spoken as the official language in both places. The government in Beijing has always maintained that Taiwan is a renegade province that is an integral part of its sovereign territory.

Communist China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 to enforce its claim on the region, and has controlled it since 1951 -- though the central government in Beijing has faced repeated bouts of unrest from ethnic Tibetans unhappy over its rule.

-- Nanlin Fang contributed to this report.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 96734

Reported Deaths: 2060
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27177931
Ramsey10985320
Dakota7585126
Anoka6182135
Stearns404524
Washington384155
Scott260333
Olmsted247328
Nobles197516
Blue Earth17146
Wright16647
St. Louis161841
Carver14297
Clay141140
Rice13438
Mower13365
Sherburne116114
Kandiyohi10262
Winona90618
Lyon7134
Waseca6898
Benton5583
Steele5532
Freeborn5444
Nicollet54217
Crow Wing53318
Watonwan5304
Chisago5071
Todd5022
McLeod4942
Le Sueur4724
Otter Tail4454
Beltrami4405
Martin42610
Goodhue3769
Itasca33914
Pine3360
Douglas3262
Polk3164
Isanti3071
Becker2802
Carlton2711
Morrison2642
Dodge2480
Pipestone23010
Cottonwood2270
Chippewa2191
Meeker2072
Wabasha2010
Brown1952
Sibley1953
Yellow Medicine1872
Cass1824
Unassigned18052
Rock1760
Murray1702
Redwood1703
Mille Lacs1653
Renville1568
Jackson1501
Faribault1460
Swift1421
Houston1270
Kanabec1268
Roseau1240
Fillmore1230
Koochiching1233
Pennington1201
Lincoln1150
Hubbard1111
Stevens1051
Pope980
Big Stone830
Aitkin811
Wadena690
Wilkin663
Grant624
Lac qui Parle601
Lake590
Marshall531
Norman530
Mahnomen481
Red Lake451
Traverse310
Clearwater280
Lake of the Woods231
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 86239

Reported Deaths: 1307
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15962262
Woodbury550964
Johnson514727
Black Hawk450090
Linn4078112
Story345317
Dubuque328341
Scott302028
Dallas279838
Pottawattamie214139
Buena Vista199212
Marshall179034
Sioux16463
Wapello133457
Webster127214
Plymouth115521
Clinton112421
Muscatine111155
Crawford10915
Cerro Gordo105821
Warren9656
Jasper84532
Des Moines7978
Marion7637
Henry7464
Tama73231
Carroll6745
Lee6397
Wright5921
Dickinson5286
Boone5118
Bremer4957
Washington46611
Louisa42915
Delaware4103
Mahaska41019
Floyd3523
Franklin35018
Jackson3503
Winneshiek3396
Lyon3324
Clay3284
Hamilton3273
Benton3241
Winnebago31513
Hardin3041
Poweshiek3048
Buchanan2851
Jones2763
Kossuth2740
Butler2712
Shelby2671
Clarke2663
Emmet26510
Allamakee2646
Clayton2613
Chickasaw2570
Sac2570
Cherokee2512
Cedar2501
Guthrie2456
Harrison2413
Fayette2272
Grundy2233
Madison2232
Iowa2131
Palo Alto2030
Mitchell1910
Howard1906
Humboldt1903
Hancock1882
Calhoun1853
Mills1811
Page1700
Cass1692
Osceola1680
Pocahontas1632
Monroe15911
Monona1571
Lucas1566
Appanoose1393
Jefferson1391
Union1373
Taylor1311
Davis1274
Fremont1220
Ida1221
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1091
Worth1080
Greene1010
Montgomery975
Wayne872
Audubon821
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold522
Adams330
Unassigned230
Rochester
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Mason City
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 44°
Albert Lea
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Austin
Broken Clouds
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 42°
Much Cooler Week Ahead
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Monday

Image

Increase in permit to carry applications

Image

Elder Network aims to improves lives of seniors

Image

Olmsted County Public Health gives update

Image

Construction Class For Pine Island Students

Image

Premier Bank Collecting Donations

Image

School Meal Plans In Albert Lea

Image

Professor Reacts To Trump'

Image

Sean's Weather 9/28

Image

40,000 mail-in ballots sent out

Community Events