Mercedes issues dual apology for quoting Dalai Lama on Instagram

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, Feb 8: The German auto giant Daimler has apologised twice to China for its ‘Monday Motivation’ post on Instagram quoting the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Instagram post by Mercedes-Benz featuring the Dalai Lama’s quote.

The Dalai Lama’s quote, “Look at the situations from all angles, and you will become more open,” featured on an Instagram post by Mercedes-Benz along with one of its white car on a beach.

The German auto giant quickly deleted the post and apologised for hurting the sentiments of its Chinese customers on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform on Tuesday after it faced backlash for quoting the Dalai Lama labelled separatist by Beijing.

“Even though we deleted the related information as soon as possible, we know this has hurt the feelings of people of this country,” Mercedes said on its Weibo account.

On Wednesday, the Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche and the company’s China chief Hubertus Troika have reportedly issued another apology in a letter addressed to the Chinese ambassador to Germany, Chinese state media Xinhua reported.

According to a report on Mail Online, the second apology in two days highlights the extent to which foreign companies try to appease the authorities when they run afoul of the party line of the world’s second-largest economy.

Earlier this year, a spate of multinational companies operating in China have kowtowed to China and removed Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau from its list of countries from their mobile apps and websites after facing rebuttal from China.

While the Dalai Lama seeks genuine autonomy for Tibet through the ‘Middle Way Approach’, China accuses him of being a dangerous separatist seeking independence.

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