Estée Lauder brand MAC is facing a consumer backlash in China following International Women's Day—over an email that was sent to US customers.
The promotional email used a map image of China that failed to include the disputed island of Taiwan (pictured above). The email included the most popular products from several countries with the tagline “Girl Power.”
MAC China, which recently launched an elaborate experience center in Shanghai, apologized in a statement posted on China’s social media service Sina Weibo, saying the brand always respects and supports the one-China policy.
The brand's China staff instantly contacted their US counterparts, who are now doing a revision and will soon send emails with an updated map, according to the statement. The brand added that the company would improve procedure management and staff training in order to prevent such incidents.
The apology statement itself has attracted 43,500 reactions, 11,889 comments, 14,035 likes and 17,576 shares as of the time of this article's publication.
However, the statement hasn't reduced the intensity of Chinese net users’ anger.
Zhang Yixing, also named LAY, the brand's top ambassador in China, commented below the statement that no mistakes can be made on China’s territorial questions and that he hopes the US headquarters can attach equal importance to the issue, immediately correct the mistake and never make the same mistake again.
“We must stick to the one-China policy and never permit anything that harms the peaceful reunification of the country," wrote a netizen named Xback, who added three angry emoji faces. "MAC should seriously deal with the mistake and provide a satisfactory reply.”
MAC is the latest of several foreign brands that have got into trouble in China for similar issues.
Chinese consumers are still boycotting Italian fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana for not respecting Chinese culture last November, and Marriott continues to struggle to overcome a backlash from listing Taiwan as a separate country on websites.