Sony China fined 1 million yuan for undermining national dignity and interests
Published: Oct 18, 2021 12:23 PM
Sony Photo: CFP

Sony Photo: CFP

Sony's China branch was fined 1 million yuan ($0.15 million) by Beijing's market regulator on October 12 for its advertisement related to the July 7th Incident in 1937. The company was accused of undermining national dignity and interests, Beijing Daily reported on Sunday.

The punishment shows that China will not tolerate any company that damages China's national pride and will resolutely defend national interests, analysts said.

According to National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, Sony's China branch broke national advertising laws, as it announced on June 30 that it would release a new product at 10 pm on July 7, exactly the same day and time that marked the beginning of the all-out War of Resistance by the Chinese people against Japanese aggression (1931-45), which undermined Chinese national dignity and interests. 

Sony, as a Japanese company, was immediately criticized for choosing such a sensitive time to launch the new product, with some netizens asking why the company didn't schedule the release at 9 am on September 2, the anniversary of the signing ceremony of Japan's unconditional surrender in World War II.

After being questioned, Sony's China branch deleted the posts on its social media, later posting an explanation on its Weibo account saying it was "sorry for the misunderstanding and confusion caused to the public over the choice of dates due to poor work arrangements," adding that it has canceled a related event.

In April, Sony China released its 2020 financial report on its Weibo account, showing that its sales revenue in 2020 is nearly 9 trillion yen ($0.07 trillion), up 9 percent year-on-year.

Many observers have stated that Sony has repeatedly hurt Chinese national pride, as it was not the first time that the Japanese company chooses sensitive moments in Chinese people's history to launch new products.

On July 7, 2020, Sony released a new zoom lens, and on December 13, 2019, China's National Memorial Day, a remembrance day for the victims of the Nanjing Massacre in 1937 by the Imperial Japanese Army, the company released a new product with the slogan "never compromise."

Global Times