After Bytedance apologized for disrespectful ad content about China’s war heroes, the People’s Daily, one of China’s largest state-owned media, forwarded the post on its Weibo page and commented, “Apologies won’t ease the situation with immediate effect.”

People’s Daily said, “The mistake made people tremble with anger and shock”. It also accused the company of making the same mistakes again and again and doubts whether the apology was sincere enough. The official account concluded by quoting President Xi Jinping’s “advertising campaigns should also be oriented in the right direction” and asked the company to “firm its stand in the right values so that there won’t be any fatal errors in where the company is heading.”

The ad originally appeared on Douyin(抖音), China’s trending short video platform owned by Bytedance. It displayed the phrase “Jokes about flaming Qiu Shaoyun.” Qiu Shaoyun was a war hero in the Korean War who let himself burn alive while he laid perfectly still so that his platoon wouldn’t be exposed. The government later awarded him several metals. The ad was immediately taken down after it was reported by an anonymous user.

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Jiefei Liu

Jiefei Liu is a Beijing based tech reporter. She focuses on the union of tech and content creation and loves agriculture. You can write to her at Jiefei@technode.com