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Mercedes Joins Apology Spree to China for Dalai Lama Quote

Mercedes Joins Apology Spree to China for Dalai Lama Quote

The Washington Post reported that the luxury automaker was forced to backpedal after igniting a social media firestorm over a photo featuring a superimposed quote from the Tibetan spiritual leader: "Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open". Dalai Lama now lives in India as refugee.

Chinese Instagram users expressed outrage against Mercedes-Benz.

The quote was posted on Instagram, which is officially blocked in China.

Beijing authorities have labeled the Dalai Lama as a "wolf in monk's clothes" that is pushing for Tibetan separatism though supposed "spiritual terrorism". The post garnered more than 89,000 likes before it was removed, according to a screenshot by the Global Times, the media mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party that was quick to criticize Mercedes-Benz's message.

Although we have deleted the relevant information as soon as possible, we are very aware of the harm caused by this incident to the Chinese people.

"'We published extremely incorrect information, for this we are sincerely sorry".

Of the almost 2.4 million vehicles it sold worldwide past year, more than a quarter were snapped up by Chinese buyers.

"We have immediately taken real action to deepen our understanding of Chinese culture and values, including among our colleagues overseas, and in this way regulate our behaviour".

Mercedes-Benz deleted the Instagram post and published an apology on Weibo, a Chinese microblogging site.

"As China's power and influence grows, corporations will have to ask themselves the same question governments have had to: To what degree do the economic benefits of working with China run counter to the values and principles these companies uphold?" said Ely Ratner, a senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mercedes-Benz is just the latest company to cross China.

Last month, firms including Delta Air Lines and Spanish apparel maker Zara were reprimanded by authorities for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on their websites.

Marriott International had its website in China shut down by regulators after it caused a similar uproar, inviting boycotts from Chinese consumers.

They said Daimler offers no support, assistance, aid or help to anyone who intentionally subverts or attempts to subvert China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

British rock band Placebo also provoked a backlash from Chinese authorities past year after a photo of the Dalai Lama appeared on its Instagram.

Last summer, British band Placebo was scheduled to perform at the Summer Sonic Festival in Shanghai - until they posted a photo of the Nobel victor on Instagram.

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