Vitasoy issues two statements in a row to clarify attitude on police-stabbing employee under mounting public pressure
Published: Jul 03, 2021 02:16 PM
Vitasoy Photo:VCG

Vitasoy Photo:VCG

Faced with mounting pressure online since Friday night for its ambiguous attitude toward an employee who stabbed a police officer, Hong Kong-based brand Vitasoy released a statement on Saturday noon, saying the previous internal memo that used "very improper wording" and caused widespread criticism was written by an "individual employee" unauthorized by the company.

"The memo didn't get official approval from the group. Rather, it was written and forwarded by an employee in private who was neither authorized by the group nor followed the internal approval process," reads the latest statement posted on its Sina Weibo account, vowing to pursue legal charges on the employee.

The latest statement came as anger among Chinese mainland and Hong Kong netizens continued to brew after a Vitasoy document circulating online since Friday showed the company expressing "deepest condolences" to the family of the attacker.

The attacker who stabbed a Hong Kong officer in the street, has been described by the police as a "lone-wolf domestic terrorist."

The wording of the document is extremely improper, reads the latest statement on Saturday. "The company is conducting investigation into the issue and maintains the right to seek the employee's legal responsibility," it continues.

Vitasoy said that it makes "sincere apology" to the troubles and dissatisfaction its memo has caused. "We support the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong and severely condemn violence and actions that harm the city's social stability," it reads.

About 11 hours ago, Vitasoy made a statement on its Sina Weibo account only saying it fully supports Hong Kong authorities in conducting a thorough investigation into the case based on the national security law.

It seems the latest statement has not yet calmed online anger. The latest post on Vitasoy's Weibo account does not allow users to post comments, however, nearly 30,000 users reposted the statement, ventilating their anger toward the brand that has reaped hefty profits in the Chinese mainland.

"Firmly boycott Vitasoy that fosters terrorist behaviors," reads one typical repost.

Mainland actor Gong Jun, who previously endorsed a Vitasoy lemon-flavor drink product, announced late Friday he was ending commercial cooperation with Vitasoy. "We resolutely resist all forms of extreme acts including violence and terrorism," Gong's workshop posted on Weibo. "We firmly safeguard social stability and the interests of the motherland."

Following Gong, another actor from the mainland Ren Jialun also announced to end all cooperation with Vitasoy. "Ren firmly opposes any remarks and actions that violate laws, undermine national unity and stability or harm national interests," Ren's studio wrote on Weibo late Friday night.

Global Times