cDonald’s China has become the latest organization to voice its support for the “one China” principle following the airing of a “controversial” commercial in Taiwan.
The ad, uploaded to YouTube at the beginning of this month, was targeted at promoting the chain’s Egg McMuffin to students about to take their exams — in Mandarin, the popular breakfast item is called “manfubao” (满福堡) which also translates to “full of good luck.”
While this all may seem innocent enough, a closer viewing of the commercial revealed that a student’s exam admission ticket listed her nationality as “Taiwan.” Eventually, this screencap made its way to Chinese social media where netizens accused McDonald’s of supporting Taiwanese independence.
In response, McDonald’s China issued a statement on Weibo, expressing its “regret” that the commercial had caused such a serious “misunderstanding,” blaming the Taiwanese ad company who created the video for the oversight. “We have always supported the ‘one-China’ principle and firmly support China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the statement read, adding that commercial had been taken down.
It’s worth noting here that McDonald’s China and McDonald’s Taiwan are two entirely different companies not directly under the control of franchise headquarters back in US — in China, McDonald’s outlets are owned by China’s CITIC Ltd and the US-based Carlyle Group, while in Taiwan they are owned by Taiwanese restaurant chain operator Deyu Co. — so it’s unclear how much McDonald’s China had to do with getting the video taken down.
Either way, McDonald’s China joins an ever-growing list of companies to apologize to the Chinese people for a Taiwan-related faux pas, something which Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu appears to be growing a bit tired of.
— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) January 19, 2019