China embassy distances itself from Lazada affair

China embassy distances itself from Lazada affair

The Chinese embassy yesterday labelled the controversial promotional video for Chinese-owned Lazada posted on TikTok on May 5 as unacceptable.

The embassy chose to convey the message through Facebook and left it attributed to an unnamed spokesperson.

The statement was a response to the online advertisement, alleged to have mocked the disabled and also slighted the royal family, starring transgender influencer Aniwat Prathumthin, better known by her online alias of Nara Crepe Katoey.

"The Chinese Embassy in Thailand has noticed the incident and shares the same view that the content in the video is unacceptable," the statement said.

As of press time, more than 2,200 people liked the post, about 500 people had shared the content and more than 350 people had commented on it.

Many people thanked the embassy for its recognition of the dent to national pride that the clip had caused.

The media agency Intersect Design Factory Co, who hired Nara to create the ad, and Lazada have already both apologised for the content.

Lazada is a business unit of the giant Chinese company Alibaba which developed to become the largest e-commerce site in Southeast Asia in 2018 and claimed to have more than 30 million active users per month.

Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn said the ministry and police are preparing to bring a lawsuit against the agency, and are also investigating those employed by Lazada who chose to work with Intersect on the project, as well as the actors and crew.

The platform itself cannot be closed without a court order, said Mr Chaiwut.

He also urged foreign companies who run businesses in Thailand to acknowledge and respect traditional Thai values.

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