Mercedes Benz Just Apologized to China for Quoting the Dalai Lama on Instagram

February 7, 2018, 11:08 AM UTC

Daimler (DDAIF) unit Mercedes-Benz is the latest international company offering the Chinese an open apology for quoting the Dalai Lama on Instagram, weeks after Chinese regulators probed Marriott International (MAR) for listing Tibet as a nation on its website.

The automaker attached a quote from the Tibetan spiritual leader to a post showcasing a sleek luxury model — “Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” 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.

“We fully understand this incident has hurt the feelings of Chinese people, including Mercedes-Benz’s employees in China,” the company said in a statement on its Weibo after deleting the post it said contained “extremely mistaken information.”

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The Chinese foreign ministry urged foreign companies to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity after the Marriott probe. Retailer ZARA and airline operator Delta (DAL) also issued apologies for listing Tibet and Taiwan as nations on their websites.

“Whether in China or overseas, changing your behavior when you know you’re wrong is the most basic path to behaving like an upright person,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters at a regular press conference, according to the People’s Daily’s official app on Wednesday. Geng added that China would continue to cooperate with foreign companies.