Chinese national tech company Huawei Technologies has come under nationalistic fire for a strange faux pas.
This was after the highly-patriotic Chinese company implied that Taiwan is a country independent from China.
Outrage over Taiwan's characterisation
Outrage expressed on Weibo, a Twitter-life platform, came after users in China were angered by the way "Taipei" was listed on some Huawei and Honour smartphones, suggesting it is independent.
Users found that when setting a time zone, Taiwan’s capital was listed as “Taipei (China)” when the language was set to simplified Chinese characters.
However, “Taipei (Taiwan)” is shown when it was set to traditional characters, which is the preferred language format used on the island.
Comical faux pas
This almost comical faux pas coming from a company that has been widely-hailed by Chinese patriots as the jewel of their civilisation's modernity and progress, is due to China claiming both Taiwan and Hong Kong as part of its territory.
With more than 350,000 views on the Weibo topic, some Chinese have even called for a boycott of Huawei.
The topic even spawned a hashtag calling for Huawei to apologise besides being boycotted, but the hashtag has since been deleted.
The conspiracy theory going the other way is that Huawei committed this faux pas on purpose so as to make foreigners believe it is independent from the Chinese government.
Huawei's software has since been modified.
The Huawei and Honour phones that have offended the Chinese now show "Taipei (China)".
Phones outside China use Taipei with no country after it.
Chinese consumers might
Chinese consumers have been making their collective might felt by directly taking aim at corporations that are mostly foreign in nature -- like Dolce & Gabbana back in November 2018.
Their behaviour can be initiated and spurred on by critical state media coverage.
Chinese buyers now account for at least one-third of the world's luxury sales and two-thirds of that industry's growth, estimates from consultancy Bain & Co indicate.
Companies that increasingly rely on China's wealthy middle class and burgeoning consumer market for growth are quick to make amends to reduce the impact on sales.
This Huawei outcry comes the same week that foreign brands such as Versace and Coach have apologised for angering Chinese Internet users with their characterisations of Taiwan and Hong Kong.
A Coach T-shirt listed Taiwan as a country, while also identifying Hong Kong as a city and country.