© 2020 WFAE
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Nation & World

Mercedes-Benz Apologizes To China After Quoting Dalai Lama In A Car Post

The Mercedes logo in the grille of a Mercedes 2016 GLE SUV automobile on display at the Auto Show in Pittsburgh.

Mercedes-Benz issued an apology statement Tuesday after an Instagram post struck a nerve with Chinese consumers.

The post, which has since been deleted, pictured one of the German automaker's luxury vehicles on a beach, according to multiple reports. The photo was hashtagged "MondayMotivation" and had a white text overlay quoting the Dalai Lama, a Tibetan spiritual leader.

"Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open," the social media post said.

Mercedes-Benz apparently failed to look at the quote from all angles and drew criticism from its Chinese consumer base.

In 1959, the Dalai Lama was exiled and fled to India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule. In China, the Tibetan spiritual leader is still viewed as a separatist.

The post sparked lively discussion on social media, with some consumers saying that by quoting the Dalai Lama, Mercedes-Benz showed it lacks a fundamental understanding of Chinese history and culture.

"Foreign companies do not understand our national conditions, but this is not an excuse to not deal with them," said one netizen, according to the Shanghaiist, a Chinese news site.

Mercedes-Benz's apology statement was posted in Chinese on its official Weibo microblog.

The automaker said it is "very aware of the harm caused by this incident to the Chinese people" and plans to "take practical actions to deepen our understanding of Chinese culture and values."

Asia Simone Burns is an intern with NPR Digital News.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

We Need Your Help Now More Than Ever

WFAE mask

Our newsroom is hard at work covering everything from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to the aftermath of the election, the race for a vaccine and our communities' fight to rebuild. But we can't do it without you. Support our local journalism with a donation of ANY amount, and we’ll send you a free WFAE member mask courtesy of AllDayMask.com of Monroe.