Snickers Ad Refers To Taiwan As Country, Company Apologises & Makes Changes Following Backlash

Snickers Ad Gets Called Out On Weibo For Referring To Taiwan As A Country

There’s no better pick-me-up than a bar of chocolate at any time of the day. But recently, one chocolate brand has attracted ire in China.

Chinese social media users took notice that videos and pictures on Snickers’ website stated that a product will only be available in certain ‘countries’ — including Taiwan.

Source: Weibo

Netizens were enraged and quick to correct that Taiwan is part of China.

On 5 Aug, Snickers maker Mars Wrigley apologised, saying the company respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Snickers ad states Taiwan is a country

Recently, Snickers promoted a limited edition BTS Snickers bar on their website.

In videos and pictures, the company stated that the product will only be available in ‘countries’ including South Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan.

A social media backlash soon ensued. Netizens took to Weibo to correct that Taiwan was not a country on its own and there was only one China.

Translation: #Snickers #Taiwan The apology is not accepted, there is only one China
Source: Weibo

Many also stated that they will be boycotting the brand for their blunder.

Snicker’s company, Mars Wrigley, was quick to react. On 5 Aug, Snickers China posted an apology on Weibo, saying they are deeply apologetic for the mistake.

Source: 士力架中国 on Weibo

The company went on to say they have made amendments to ensure that Snickers’ content is accurate.

They emphasised that they respect China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and conduct their business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations.

Snickers apologise

Unfortunately for Snickers, things did not end there. Reacting to Mars Wrigley’s apology, many pointed out that the US company did not state Taiwan was a part of China, a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy.

One netizen questioned why it was so difficult for the company to say that there is only one China. The comment garnered over 12,000 likes.

snickers ad taiwan

Translation: ‘There is only one China’. Is this very hard to say?
Source: Weibo

Another netizen demanded that the company say that Taiwan is an inseparable part of China’s territory.

snickers ad taiwan

Translation: Say it, Taiwan is an inseparable part of China!
Source: Weibo

Following this, Snickers China put out a second Weibo post saying that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is an inseparable part.

The company also attached a picture which stated that there is only one China in the world, reiterating that Taiwan belongs to China’s territory.

snickers ad taiwan

Source: 士力架中国 on Weibo

Rising diplomatic tensions

Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of China’s territory. However, Taiwan rejects these claims, saying its people decide the region’s future.

According to The Straits Times (ST), Beijing has never ruled out using force to bring the island back under its control.

Snickers is the latest in a long list of foreign brands that have been called out by the Chinese for not using their preferred nomenclature – Taiwan province or Taiwan (China) – to refer to the island.

This incident also came on the heels of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on 2 Aug which has led to increased sensitivities surrounding Taiwan in mainland China.

The visit led to China announcing unprecedented live-firing exercises around Taiwan and a long list of import bans on their products.

Hope netizens accept apology

Diplomatic tensions between China and Taiwan have certainly risen in recent times.

While it was an honest mistake, the current tense political situation perhaps called for greater tact from Snickers.

Only time will tell if Snickers’ repeated apologies will eventually placate Chinese netizens.

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Featured image adapted from Weibo and Joshua Fernandez on Unsplash.

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