Snickers parent company Mars Wrigley, apologized on Friday for a Snickers product launch that inflamed Chinese social media users who said it suggested that Taiwan was a country.
Images and videos of a Snicker’s event featuring South Korean band BTS promoting a limited edition Snicker’s bar as only being available in the “countries” of South Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan went viral on the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo on Friday. In China, any suggestion that Taiwan is an independent nation is taboo.
“We are aware of reports on Snickers-related activities in certain regions of Asia, take this very seriously and express our deep apologies,” said a Mars Wrigley statement posted Friday on Snickers China’s Weibo page.
“Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and conducts business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations,” the company’s statement said.
That was apparently not enough to tamper down anger, with some complaining that the US company’s statement did not say Taiwan was a part of China.
“Say it: Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory!” read one comment underneath the post on Snickers China Weibo account
The company responded by issuing another statement saying, “there is only one China in this world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”
The heated reaction comes following fury across the country this past week when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defied Beijing’s warnings and visited Taiwan.
Snickers on Fri apologized for marking Taiwan island as a country, saying its local team has verified & aligned the official site and social media accounts to ensure accurate content. Snickers owner Mars Wrigley said it respects China's natl sovereignty and territorial integrity. pic.twitter.com/TshespKEf5
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 5, 2022