Shenzhen-based digital lock manufacturer has been accused by cybersecurity police of insulting the national bomb-disposal unit, triggering outcry from the public.

The trouble began when Kaadas Technology—a manufacturer of smart locks that support fingerprint scanning and touch-screen passwords—ran an off-color advertisement. 

Viewers took offense to the final scenes of the ad, in which a soldier fails to dispose of a nuclear bomb and is blown up, leaving only a dismembered hand.

Later back home, the hand explains to his parents the reason it can gain access to the house—Kaadas’ smart locks support simple fingerprints reading, regardless of the condition of other body parts.

The police cybersecurity unit in Jiangsu province said the ad lacked “fundamental moral values.”

“Do not take ignorance as creativity, a malicious hoax as a joke,” the unit said on Weibo.

Kaadas issued an apology letter (in Chinese) on Weibo, saying the company since has removed the advertisement and promised to adhere to appropriate social values.

Weibo users were not satisfied with the apology. Many of them commented on the Jiangsu Cybersecurity Unit’s post, asking how such content could have been approved by the government’s vetting personnel.

The ad’s title “Bomb Disposal Team” is the same as a 2017 film featuring actor Andy Lau. The film recounts how a brave bomb disposal team sacrifice themselves to protect the residents of Hong Kong.

Runhua Zhao is a technology reporter based in Beijing. Connect with her via email:

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