Taiwan: Snickers manufacturer Mars Wrigley bows to pressure from China

Mars Wrigley was asked to refer to Taiwan as part of China.

© Adobe Stock

Taiwan: Snickers manufacturer Mars Wrigley

Mars Wrigley was asked to refer to Taiwan as part of China.

© Adobe Stock

http://www.falstaff.com/en/nd/taiwan-snickers-manufacturer-mars-wrigley-bows-to-pressure-from-china/ Taiwan: Snickers manufacturer Mars Wrigley bows to pressure from China Because Taiwan was referred to as a separate country in an advertising campaign, manufacturer Mars Wrigley has had to issue an apology. http://www.falstaff.com/fileadmin/_processed_/d/b/csm_Snickers_Adobe_Stock_Editorial_6ed07adebf.jpg

The visit of Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, to Taiwan has caused severe diplomatic upset between China and the USA. China has not only conducted military exercises near the country but also threatened Pelosi herself with sanctions, among other things.

The international food industry seems to have taken a more equivocal line: the manufacturer Mars Wrigley has now apologised several times for an advertising campaign in which Taiwan (also officially known as the Republic of China, ROC) was referred to as an independent country. Specifically, it related to online advertising for the product Snickers, which is said to have run in Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia, among other places. Chinese web users had published screenshots on Chinese platforms such as Weibo, which led to protests against Snickers and Mars Wrigley.

Mars Wrigley announced an apology

In response, Mars Wrigley announced via Weibo that it respected China's national sovereignty and would comply with Chinese laws. Chinese territories continue to be recognised, it said. Chinese users apparently didn’t think this apology went far enough though: Mars Wrigley was asked to refer to Taiwan as part of China. “Don't buy Snickers in the future”, wrote one Weibo user as Falstaff discovered. Others are also calling for a boycott of the confectionery product. It is not yet known whether Mars Wrigley will respond further.

Under pressure from China, most countries worldwide do not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. China sees the small island nation as a fixed part of Chinese territory. According to political experts, China fears that Taiwan's example as a prosperous country with a democratically elected government and freedom of expression could serve as an example to its own population.