Samsung accused of hurting the national feelings of Chinese citizens for labeling Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries


Oct 27, 2017
The world's number one smartphone maker Samsung Electronics became the latest global brand to face criticism Wednesday for damaging China's "territorial integrity", with a Chinese K-pop star ending an endorsement contract.

The row broke out after Chinese viewers noticed that the South Korean tech giant offers different language versions of its website for users in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan -- in English, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese.

All three appear as choices in a list of 'countries'.

Beijing is very sensitive about anything it perceives as portraying semi-autonomous Hong Kong and Macau or the self-ruled democratic island of Taiwan -- which it views as as a renegade province awaiting reunification -- as separate countries.

Hong Kong has become a particularly thorny issue for Beijing in recent weeks with the financial hub plunged into months of pro-democracy protests.

Chinese K-pop star Zhang Yixing -- popularly known as Lay, from the boyband Exo -- on Tuesday cancelled his agreement with Samsung for it allegedly "hurting the national feelings of Chinese compatriots" by maintaining the separate websites.

The hashtag "#ZhangYixing Ditches Samsung#" went viral on China's Twitter-like Weibo with his cancellation notice being viewed 840 million times in the 20 hours after it was posted.

"Its act of blurring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country has seriously hurt the national feelings of our compatriots, which we strongly condemn," Zhang's Chinese agency said in a statement on its official social media account on Weibo.

Zhang had been a Samsung Electronics brand ambassador in China since December. The firm declined to comment when contacted by AFP.


Oct 26, 2017
I wonder when English language articles are going to stop calling weibo “Chinese twitter.”

Also lol at china getting butthurt.


Oct 29, 2017
China pursues these claims for the same reason that private companies aggressively fight trademark infringements in court. As soon as China relents, they lose ground in those areas and internationally to claiming them as their sovereign territory.

Jie Li

Dec 21, 2018
Big companies like Samsung shouldn't make that simple mistake. Versace is different. They just want free advertisement and get sales from people who dislike China.


Nov 14, 2017
This is pathetic. AFAIK it makes sense to have Taiwan separate, they use traditional characters. Hong Kong they speak Cantonese, also they use traditional characters.


The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
Chinese fragility. US Virgin Islands are almost always listed as a separate country, but Americans don't get butt hurt about it. Fuck Pooh Bear and his supporters.


Oct 25, 2017
Swarovski as well:

We need to end the status-quo of corporations bowing to abusive Chinese terms just to have access to the market. It's very clear they are trying to use their market power to get people to say they're doing nothing wrong and it's unacceptable. Corporations should be making the hard choices, if you're going to sell out others to get access to the Chinese market then we should make sure they are taking a hit everywhere else. "One China" is literally an ethnic cleansing policy.


Oct 29, 2017
Wow. That level of insecurity is well in line with Xi Jinping's. Butthurt much and therefore deserved. lol, imagine pissing off someone by a country selection menu. Offering Taiwan as a country choice is not wrong though when there are two different opinions about whether it belongs to PRC or is a state (ROC) of its own. I feel like Taiwanese wouldn't have a problem with selecting their country, or anyone else except for PRC.