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The ‘One China Policy’ requires that companies refer to territories such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau as part of China, and not as autonomous entities. The current heightened political tensions between Hong Kong and China has sparked a wave in China, of people scrutinising international brands to find whether or not they abide by the ‘One China Policy’.
Regarding Samsung Electronics, Lay’s Studio released a statement on Weibo saying:
“After self-examination and serious communication of all our endorsement brands, Samsung Electronics, which Zhang Yixing is a model for, has unclear definitions of country and region on its official global site. Its vagueness of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity has seriously hurt the national feelings of our compatriots, which we strongly condemn and will not tolerate”. (Source)
Yixing is not the first Chinese celebrity to end their contract due to the current ‘One China Policy’ enforcements. Recently, actress Yang Mi ended her contract with Versace after the fashion house came under fire and then apologised for selling t-shirts with Hong Kong and Macau written on them, as it was perceived that the company was listing them as independent territories.
Yixing was also recently announced as a global ambassador for Calvin Klein, but the brand is also facing backlash in China, as it lists Hong Kong as an independent country. In another statement issued on Lay’s Studio Weibo, Yixing addressed this saying:
“Zhang Yixing and his studio have always adhered to the One China principle, firmly maintained national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and opposed any attempt to split China in any form.” (Source)
It also stated that Yixing will investigate all of his current endorsement deals and warn any brand that if they do not adhere to the One China policy, or if they don’t apologise for not adhering to the policy and change their actions, he and his team will do whatever is necessary to terminate his contract.
Yixing also recently cancelled his upcoming solo concert in Hong Kong that was set to take place on August 17. In another Weibo statement, his studio said:
“Zhang Yixing has always loved the city of Hong Kong and has also felt the support and affection of many Hong Kong fans. In order to give back to fans, we planned to provide fans in Hong Kong, surrounding cities and overseas the opportunity to enjoy his wonderful professional performances.
But what is happening in Hong Kong is something that no one wants to see. Before the decision was made to cancel, Zhang Yixing, his team and the concert organisers tried all possible ways to ensure the safety of fans and friends to allow the concert to go ahead as scheduled… but there is still no guarantee of the traffic conditions and safety…
As a result, we have to announce that we are regrettably cancelling the concert in Hong Kong on August 17″. (Source)
It remains to be seen which of his other endorsements Yixing may terminate as the Hong Kong-China tensions escalate.
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