Shanghai dairy company fined for ad that uses China map deemed wrong by authorities

Published (HKT): 2020.10.19 06:42

One of China’s largest dairy companies was fined 300,000 yuan (US$44,730) after its advertisement showed a map of China that authorities deemed incomplete.

The Shanghai-based Bright Dairy was fined by the city’s market regulator and ordered to discontinue the advertisement. The company “damaged the country’s dignity or interests, or revealed classified information,” according to China’s National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System.

The video in question was posted on Bright Dairy’s website from June 8, 2018, to April 9 this year. The ad showed a map of China that failed to “accurately and completely” show the country’s territory, according to a notice issued on Sept. 27 by the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation.

A purported screenshot of Bright Dairy’s ad that surfaced on Reddit showed a map of China without the “nine-dash line” in the South China Sea. The screenshot was taken in June 2018.

The U-shaped line illustrates the Chinese Communist Party’s disputed claims over vast expanses of the resource-rich South China Sea, including large swathes of what Vietnam regards as its continental shelf as well as other territories claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

Chinese netizens earlier speculated that Bright Dairy ran into trouble because their slogan, “Please give me light,” touched a nerve with Chinese authorities.

Bright Dairy was founded in 1949 and is one of the top three dairy companies in China. However, it has issued profit warnings in recent years and has ceded market share to its competitors Yili Group and Mengniu Dairy.

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