Audi asked a Chinese dealership to remove a banner which supports the murder of Japanese citizens, after the photo went viral on the Internet.
The photograph shows an unidentified dealership and its employees holding the anti-Japan message. According to Lu Minjie, a spokeswoman at FAW-Volkswagen Automotive, the unit which manufactures Audi cars in China, such a message does not reflect the company’s views, for which China is its biggest market.
The photo, which was spread via Sina Weibo service, something like Twitter, showed 14 people in front of an Audi dealership, all smiling and happy, holding a red banner with the message “Japanese must all be killed even if it means China is covered in graves. Diaoyu must be reclaimed even if China becomes barren land.” The tension between the two countries reached unprecedented level this past week, after Japan purchased the disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
“It’s okay for them to protest against Japan, but they can’t be talking about killing people,” said Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research in Shanghai. “Most people would be surprised and disappointed in Audi if they didn’t take a very strong stance.”