McDonald’s has had to pull an ad and express regret after it stated a character was a Taiwan national, instead of Chinese, in a recent ad.
The ad was targeted at students, because its Egg McMuffin product in Chinese, which is pronounced Man Fu Bao (滿福堡) in Mandarin, is like "full of good luck", according to Focus Taiwan.
The idea was to link students to this product during the stressful exam period but a scene in the ad showed a student ID, which claimed the student’s nationality was Taiwanese. The ad angered a lot of users of social media in China, who thought the ad was a sign of supporting Taiwan independence.
The ad launched on 6 December on YouTube but was taken down by 18 December. McDonald’s Taiwan and McDonald’s China are owned by two separate companies and despite this, due to the uproar in China, McDonald’s China has now released a statement via its Weibo channel.
Focus Taiwan reports the statement as saying, "We regret about the ad which had stirred up such an unnecessary misunderstanding. We always hold a solid "one China" stance and we are determined to continue to support China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The video has been withdrawn and we are grateful to the attention and supervision in society.”
McDonald’s isn’t the only brand to fall foul of this sensitive topic as Nike, Apple and Amazon have been called out for not adhering to the One-China policy.