McDonald’s China yesterday expressed regret over an advertisement posted on YouTube by McDonald’s Taiwan that sparked an outcry among Chinese netizens, who said the ad supported Taiwanese independence.
McDonald’s China said in a post on a microblogging site that the nationality of a female student in the ad was given as Taiwanese.
The ad was posted on YouTube on Dec. 6 and was withdrawn on Dec. 18.
Screen grab from YouTube
McDonald’s Taiwan did not say whether the withdrawal was linked to the online protests.
The ad was to promote Egg McMuffins, a popular breakfast item called man fu bao (滿福堡) in Chinese, which is similar in pronunciation to a phrase meaning “full of good luck,” McDonald’s Taiwan said, adding that the ad conveyed a message of good luck to students preparing for college entrance exams.
The ad simply conveyed an idea to boost morale for exams, McDonald’s China said, but added that the company that produced the ad failed to pay close attention to the political situation across the Taiwan Strait.
“We regret that the ad has stirred up such unnecessary misunderstanding,” McDonald’s China said. “We hold a solid ‘one China’ stance and we are determined to continue to support China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
McDonald’s Taiwan and McDonald’s China are different companies.
Other netizens said that anger should not be directed at McDonald’s China and no boycott was necessary, while its statement of regret was unnecessary.
McDonald’s China is owned by CITIC Capital Holdings Ltd and US-based private-equity firm Carlyle Group.
In June 2017, Deyu Co, a Taiwanese restaurant chain operator, acquired McDonald’s assets in Taiwan.
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