Mercedes-Benz apologizes after post quoting Dalai Lama sparks fury
Mercedes-Benz issued an apology on Chinese social media on Tuesday for quoting the Dalai Lama in an Instagram post.
In a statement on its official Weibo account, the car maker said: "We are sincerely sorry for the release of a post with extremely wrong information on international social media."
"Though we deleted it as soon as possible, we still realize that the matter has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, as well as our colleagues in China. We sincerely apologize for this."
"Taking this as a lesson, we will immediately take concrete actions to deepen our understanding — including our overseas colleagues — of Chinese culture and values, and to regulate our behaviors, preventing such an incident from happening again."
The apology came after an Instagram post on Monday from the company featuring a quote attributed to the Dalai Lama sparked fury among Chinese web users.
The post, which pictured one of the German automaker's luxury vehicles on a beach and carried the hashtag "#MondayMotivation," had a white text overlay quoting the Dalai Lama which read: "Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open."
The description of the post stated: "Start your week with a fresh perspective on life from the Dalai Lama."
Dalai Lama is regarded by China as a political exile who has tried to split Tibet from Chinese territory under the cloak of religion.
The post soon provoked an outrage from Chinese netizens, many of whom pledged to boycott the Mercedes brand.
The apology hasn't cooled the controversy as the comment function under the statement on Weibo was closed, which Chinese netizens said shows a lack of sincerity. They also asked the German car maker to apologize further — preferably on Instagram.