Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) McDonald's in China expressed Saturday regret over an advertisement posted on Youtube by Taiwan McDonald's that sparked an outcry among Chinese netizens, who claimed the ad supports Taiwan independence.
On its official Weibo page, a popular Chinese social media site, McDonald's China expressed regret over the ad, which labelled the nationality of a female student in the ad as Taiwan.
Many Chinese netizens posted strong protests, accusing McDonald's of supporting Taiwan independence.
The ad appeared on YouTube Dec. 6 and was withdrawn Dec. 18 after the online protests. McDonald's Taiwan did not say whether the withdrawal had something with the protests from Chinese netizens.
According to McDonald's Taiwan, the online ad was aimed at promoting the company's Egg Mcmuffin, one of its popular breakfast items, Man Fu Bao (滿福堡), pronounced in Mandarin like "full of good luck", would bring good luck to students preparing to take a college entrance exam.
McDonald's in China agreed with its Taiwan counterpart, saying the ad simply conveyed an idea to boost morale of examination taking students in Taiwan, but admitted the advertising company which produced the ad failed to pay close attention to the subtle background across the Taiwan Strait.
"We regret about the ad which had stirred up such an unnecessary misunderstanding," McDonald's in China said on its Weibo page, "We always hold a solid "one China" stance and we are determined to continue to support China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
"The video has been withdrawn and we are grateful to the attention and supervision in society," McDonald's China said.
McDonald's Taiwan and McDonald's China are two different companies. Other Chinese netizens urged their angry compatriots not to be angry with McDonald's China by boycotting its products, saying that McDonald's China's statement to express regret over the incident was unnecessary.
In China, McDonald's is owned by China's CITIC Capital Holdings Ltd. and the U.S.-based private equity firm Carlyle Group through an acquisition deal in January 2017.
In June 2017, Deyu Co., a Taiwanese restaurant chain operator, acquired McDonald's assets in Taiwan.