US company apologises after Taiwan product launch

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US company apologises after Taiwan product launch

A Snickers product launch in which Taiwan was called a country has caused parent company Mars Wrigley to apologize after backlash on Chinese social media.

Videos and pictures showing a Snickers bar advertising a limited edition Snickers bar and saying the product was only available in the countries of South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan triggered an outpour of anger on Friday by Chinese social media platform Weibo.

Mars Wrigley later issued an apology on its Snickers China Weibo account, saying the relevant content had been amended.

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

However, the social media backlash did not abate as many users were irate that the US company did not say Taiwan was a part of China, a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy.

It is true that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China's territory! There is a comment beneath the post on the Snickers China Weibo account.

Snickers among many have apologised for their actions.

The issue of Taiwan is a hangingover from a brutal civil war in China which ended in 1949, with the defeated Nationalists fleeing to the island while the victorious Chinese Communist Party took over control of mainland China.

Beijing considers Taiwan to be a part of its territory and has never ruled out using force to bring the island under its control.

Taiwan rejects China's sovereignty claims and says only its people can decide the island's future.

Snickers joined a long list of foreign brands that have been forced to apologise after being called out by Chinese social media users for not using Beijing's preferred nomenclature for Taiwan province or Taiwan China. Senitivities surrounding Taiwan in mainland China reached their highest point in decades after US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island on Tuesday.

It prompted China to announce unprecedented live-firing exercises around the island and a long list of import bans on Taiwanese products.