Chinese detergent firm blames media for anger over 'racist' ad
A Chinese detergent maker has blamed foreign media for controversy over an ad in which a black man "washed" by its product is turning into an Asian man.
Shanghai Leishang Cosmetics apologised and said it strongly condemned racial discrimination but it pointed the finger at news reports for overblowing the ad, which first appeared on social media in March.
The company pulled it, though, after the clip went viral and drew both outrage and scores of media reports outside the country.
"We express regret that the ad should have caused a controversy," the statement said. "But we will not shun responsibility for controversial content.
"We express our apology for the harm caused to the African people because of the spread of the ad and the over-amplification by the media," the company said. "We sincerely hope the public and the media will not over-read it."
The ad for Qiaobi laundry detergent drops shows a black man entering a room and attempting to flirt with an Asian woman. He is carrying a tin of paint, wears soiled clothes and has paint on his face.
She then feeds him a detergent drop and stuffs his body into a top-loading washer.
When the cycle completes, a fair-skinned Asian man in a clean white T-shirt emerges to the delight of the woman.
When speaking to the Chinese nationalist newspaper 'The Global Times', a company representative, named as Mr Wang, said the critics were "too sensitive".