US candy giant Mars Wrigley apologises for Taiwan adverts

US candy giant Mars Wrigley apologises for Taiwan adverts

BEIJING: American candy giant Mars Wrigley insists that it respects China's national sovereignty and apologised after an advert for its Snickers bar referred to Taiwan as a country, sparking outrage on the mainland.

Screenshots of marketing for the nutty confectionery featuring the South Korean boyband BTS were quickly picked up on social media in mainland China, where any suggestion that the island is an independent nation is highly taboo.

A Mars Wrigley statement posted Friday August 5 on Snickers China's Weibo page said that we are aware of reports on Snickers related activities in certain regions of Asia and we take this very seriously and express our deep apologies.

The company asked Snickers' local team to check and adjust its official website and social media account to ensure the company's publicity content is accurate, it added.

Mars Wrigley respects China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and conducts business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations, according to the statement.

After the first statement, Snickers China shared another Weibo post saying there is only one China in this world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, which China claims is part of its territory and has pledged to take by force if necessary, according to the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

China said on Friday it was ending cooperation with the United States on key issues including climate change, and has encircled the self-ruled island with a series of military drills.

Mars Wrigley is not the first international firm to issue an apology over the worry of losing access to China's massive consumer market.

In the year 2019 French luxury brand Dior apologized after using a map of China in a presentation that did not include Taiwan.

The hotel chain Marriott's website in China was shut down for a week in 2018 after a customer questionnaire listed Taiwan, Tibet and Hong Kong as separate countries.