Chinese firm apologizes after accusations label commercial racist

World Today

Qiaobao commercial shows a Chinese woman coercing a black man towards her.

A Chinese detergent company has apologized for “hurting the feelings of the African community” after an outrage over its recent advertisement.

Officials in Beijing are distancing the government from a commercial that’s been widely condemned as racist.

The ad for a laundry detergent shows an African man’s black color being washed off.

China’s foreign ministry says the commercial has not affected relations with African governments.

CCTV America’s Roee Ruttenberg reports.
Follow Roee Ruttenberg on Twitter @RoeeRuttenberg

Outrage over Chinese laundry detergent commercial

Officials in Beijing are distancing the government from a commercial that's been widely condemned as racist. The ad for a laundry detergent shows an African man's black color being washed off. China's foreign ministry says the commercial has not affected relations with African governments.

On Monday, Chinese officials tried to distance the government from the controversy, and potential fallout.

“We have maintained incredibly friendly relations with all peoples of different nationalities and different races on this world, as well as all of their countries. We share mutual respect and equal treatment with them. As far as I know, this is an isolated, uncompromising act by a commercial company,” Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said. She also said that no government has lodged a complaint about the commercial.

She also hailed China’s “brotherly” relations with African countries.

CCTV’s Yu Zheng reports.

Chinese firm apologizes after accusations label commercial racist

A Chinese detergent company has apologized for “hurting the feelings of the African community” after an outrage over its recent advertisement. CCTV's Yu Zheng reports.

Shanghai Leishang Cosmetic Ltd, the company at the center of mounting criticism, told CCTV America that they published a statement of apology on its official Sina Weibo account after claims that its Qiaobi detergent advertisement was racist, saying it “strongly objected to racism.”

The advertisement was slammed after a video that shows a Chinese woman shoving a black man into a washing machine only to emerge as a light-skinned Chinese man.

Hours after the advertisement was posted online, it met with harsh criticism online for being “disgusting” and “discriminatory.”

The company however said that the advertisement was never intended to discriminate against any ethnicity.

“The company never makes any value judgment based on color or people’s ethnicity,”Shanghai Leishang said in the statement.

 In an interview with the Global Times newspaper, a manager of the firm, surnamed Wang, explained that the rationale behind the video was solely for “advertising the product,” suggesting that the overseas critics could be “over sensitive.”

Commercial in China uses racial stereotypes to sell detergent

People around the world are expressing outrage about a commercial that aired in China for a laundry detergent booster that depicts a Chinese woman throwing a black man into a washing machine and having him come out as a Chinese man. The commercial is for Qiaobi, and the line at the end of the ad reads: "Change by Qiaobi." CCTV's Han Peng reports.

Watch it here:

Qiaobi, which is a domestic Chinese brand, also added in its statement that it hoped all Chinese companies could make their brands more appealing to enter the global market. However, some of the netizens don’t believe that the company is in the position to make such a call.

“China doesn’t need such a firm that is so ignorant of common sense and disregard of social righteousness,” remarked @Luziming on the company’s apology statement on Weibo.

Han Hua, a media and communication consultant said that Chinese companies should learn to appreciate different cultures while interacting with consumers.

“This is the essence of the Chinese culture, too,” she told CCTV.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the ad was an isolated commercial act that had not prompted any diplomatic complaints and hoped people would not hype it up.

“Everyone can see that we are consistent in equality towards, and mutually respect, all countries, no matter their ethnicity or race. In fact, we are good brothers with African countries,” Hua told a daily news briefing.

Public discussion of racial discrimination is unusual in China, which is dominated by the ethnic Han majority but is also home to dozens of minority groups as well as a growing influx of foreign residents, including Africans.

“Even though the people who shot the ad may not have realized it, it really is racist,” one user on the microblogging platform Weibo wrote. “Those who planned the ad strategy should really have read up first.”

The Qiaobao commercial then shows the Chinese woman sitting on said washing machine.

The Qiaobao commercial then shows the Chinese woman sitting on said washing machine.

Qiaobao commercial then shows the Chinese woman putting the detergent product in his mouth and shoving him into a washing machine.

Qiaobao commercial then shows the Chinese woman putting the detergent product in his mouth and shoving him into a washing machine.

Qiaobao commercial shows a Chinese woman coercing a black man towards her.

Qiaobao commercial shows a Chinese woman coercing a black man towards her.

When the load is complete, the Qiaobao commercial shows a Chinese man's head coming out.

When the load is complete, the Qiaobao commercial shows a Chinese man’s head coming out.

The Qiaobao ends with the Chinese man holding the product.

The Qiaobao ends with the Chinese man holding the product.

Story from CCTV News and Reuters.