Radical Hongkongers launch cyber violence

By Yang Sheng, Xing Xiaojing and Wang Cong Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/11 23:43:40

Companies should not be hijacked by radical protesters: observer

A few companies are under criticism by Chinese web users since they released messages on social networks that submit to the violent protest in Hong Kong or mock the law enforcement of the Hong Kong police, including Japanese firms Yoshinoya and Pocari Sweat, and a Chinese company Ctrip.com.

The radical anti-extradition bill protesters and supporters of the Hong Kong opposition group didn't stop making issue even after the city's chief executive announced "the bill is dead" on Wednesday and now they are targeting TVB, a Hong Kong-based television channel that broadcast footage of illegal violent activities by radical protesters, a move that was viewed by the opposition as supporting the police.

Radical Hongkongers are using cyber-violence on social networks including lihkg.com and Facebook to attack TVB and threaten firms including Pizza Hut, Olay, Carlsberg, Clarins and Durex to stop advertising on the station. 

Chinese mainland observers said the radicals don't want to give up and return peace to Hong Kong, but want instead to use a political excuse to further divide society and ruin the business environment of the city.

Unwise tourist website

Chinese online travel agency Ctrip.com International Ltd came under fire on social media networks on the Chinese mainland on Thursday, with internet users calling for a boycott of the company after its subsidiary Trip.com allegedly supported Hong Kong secessionists.

The widespread Chinese mainland backlash was sparked by a screenshot of the official Facebook account of trip.com. 

In the screenshot, a Hong Kong anti-mainland Facebook user commented on an ad post saying if the company continues to advertise with TVB, she would be "disappointed" in the company. 

In response, the Trip.com Facebook account thanked the user for the "advice" and said the company "has suspended" advertising on the TV platform and "will be more considerate in selecting media outlets for future ads cooperation." 

The comment and the reply could still be seen on the Trip.com Facebook page as of press time on Thursday. 

On Chinese social media, some users criticized Ctrip for supporting Hong Kong secessionists. "[Ctrip] has bowed down to the Hong Kong secessionist! Boycott Ctrip!" one Sina Weibo user commented on Thursday. Others urged mainland regulators to suspend Ctrip and order it to undergo a rectification process.

In a statement sent to the Global Times, Ctrip.com said that the advertising of Trip.com in Hong Kong ended in June, and "we are committed to providing quality tourism products and services to our clients. Thanks for the concerns from the users and different groups of the society."

Ctrip had no sincerity at all, some Chinese mainland web users posted on Sina Weibo, and urged the tourist website to show its stance on the Hong Kong issue clearly. 

"Is it really hard for Ctrip.com to say it supports the 'one country, two systems' policy and condemn the violent protest in Hong Kong?" posted a web user on guancha.com, a Shanghai-based Chinese news portal.

TVB responded to media that its advertising cooperation with trip.com ended June 30, and so trip.com didn't withdraw or suspend any cooperation with TVB.

An anonymous source familiar with the incident and Hong Kong affairs told the Global Times that this Chinese mainland company maybe has no idea of the sensitivity of the Hong Kong issue rather than really wanting to support anti-mainland Hong Kong activists and it doesn't know how to make an appropriate and politically correct response that could "settle down the fire among the social networks." But as to "those double-dealing firms," he said, "the Chinese people and the government have the right to punish them."

Not our decision

Compared to Ctrip.com, Japanese sport drink Pocari Sweat's manufacturer showed a stronger desire to pacify Chinese mainland web users. 

Interviewed by the Global Times reporter, a public relations director at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, the owner of Pocari Sweat, who gave his name as "Nishioka," has emphasized five times that the decision was made by the Hong Kong subsidiary rather than the headquarters of the company in Japan.

Pocari Sweat was criticized by Chinese mainland web users and former Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung for withdrawing its advertising cooperation with TVB. 

TVB Wednesday accused Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company of appeasing Hong Kong radical protesters in its decision to withdraw advertising for the Pocari Sweat sports drink from the channel over TVB's alleged bias in favor of the police in its coverage of the extradition bill protests.

Nishioka stressed that the decision to withdraw ads from TVB was not from the company but from their subsidiary in Hong Kong, and also said that the company doesn't want to take sides between mainland and Hong Kong web users.

The Pocari Sweat subsidiary in the Chinese mainland issued a statement Thursday that "the mainland company and the Hong Kong company are two independent business entities, and we firmly support the 'one country, two systems' policy, and condemn any violent behavior that harms social order."

As Pocari Sweat's manufacturer tried to cool down the issue, radicals posted on social networks that Pocari Sweat was the approved drink of protest and they would make Pocari Sweat flags to take to the next rally. 

These radical protesters are trying to put Pocari Sweat into the fury of the mainland web users and this kind of behavior is truly nasty, observers criticized.

Yoshinoya, a Japanese fast food company, also alleged mocked the Hong Kong police by using the police's nickname given by the protesters - "dogs who tear paper"— to make a joke on social networks. 

"Dogs who tear paper" means the police have cleaned up illegal posters posted by protesters on walls. 

But Yoshinoya didn't release any statement yet despite apparent anger on Chinese mainland's social network about it.

blog comments powered by Disqus