Mercedes Benz was forced to remove videos of a new ad it posted on the Chinese social media website Weibo after it faced backlash about its portrayal of a model that appeared in the ad. Chinese netizens on the website accused the ad of depicting Western stereotypes of Asian-looking features, causing a lot of backlash for the car company in China. This latest accusation is following a trend that has started in the country that criticizes Western company’s portrayal of Asian features or qualities.
The Communist Party publication, Global Times described the car company’s portrayal of the model’s makeup in the ad in sharp terms, saying that “The makeup of the female model looked like slanted eyes and once again aroused a heated discussion from netizens with many blaming that the makeup reflects Western stereotypes about Asian people,”.
The situation with the Mercedes is following a trend on Chinese social media that is more sensitive about how Asian people are projected in the media recently with situations involving not only international companies but also a few other local companies like the Three Squirrels Inc, a Chinese company that also faced social media backlash over its ad featuring another Chinese model.