Feb. 8, 2018 -- Mercedes-Benz China apologized on Tuesday for its parent company quoting the Dalai Lama in an "extremely wrong message" on social media.
The apology came after a post on Mercedes-Benz's Instagram account showed a luxury vehicle and quoted the Dalai Lama saying "Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open."
The post not only hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, but also challenged their bottom line on national sovereignty.
Mercedes-Benz delivered more than 600,000 new cars in China in 2017, setting a global record in a single market, according to Hubertus Troska, who is responsible for the Greater China, attributing the result to Chinese customers'trust in the company.
The car company followed in the footsteps of U.S. hotel chain Marriott, who just recently apologized for wrongly labeling Chinese territories as independent countries.
Chasing profits in China while hurting the feelings of the Chinese people, the reason for this conduct of some foreign enterprises is unacceptable.
The Dalai Lama's agenda to split the country in the name of "autonomy" is well-known around the world, and anyone who supports him is clearly against China.
At a Tibet work conference held in August 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed out that the international community should understand that foreign interference in China's domestic affairs is intolerable.
The President sent a clear message that any country, enterprise, or individual should not challenge the core interests of China, and any activity to split China will never be tolerated.
As a foreign enterprise, Mercedes–Benz always stresses its social responsibilities, but hurting Chinese customers and crossing the red line of sovereignty is not socially responsible.
Tolerance is a virtue of the Chinese culture, but tolerance has its limits. How will the German people react if a foreign enterprise speaks highly of Adolf Hitler and propagates his quotes, or worships views that try to separate German?
Clearly, cultural tolerance should not an excuse for a foreign firm to challenge the limits of a host country.
In its apology, Mercedes-Benz said it will deepen understanding of Chinese culture and values among its staff, including overseas staff. But the apology lacks sincerity and reflects the German carmaker's lack of understanding of Chinese culture and values.
China's core interests cannot be challenged. Without sincere reflection, any foreign car business will not survive in China.