Mini responds to Chinese ice cream racism outrage at the Shanghai Auto Show
Mini, founded in the United Kingdom, has replied to an internet outrage in China accusing it of racism during the Shanghai Auto Show.
A video from the occasion appeared to show Mini employees serving ice cream to foreign tourists while refusing it to Chinese customers.
Mini China, which is owned by BMW of Germany, stated that the snacks were distributed to business staff.
It did, however, express regret for “the negative mood the incident brought on everyone.”
Mini China claimed in a statement issued on the Chinese social media platform Weibo that it distributed 600 ice creams during the exhibition on April 18 and 19.
“In addition to distributing 300 portions of ice cream per day, we also reserved a very small portion for our hardworking colleagues on-site,” Mini China explained.
“The four to five foreigners you see in the video are colleagues who are wearing employee badges,” the statement continued.
The event, according to the corporation, was caused by gaps in management and training, and the video calls for consideration for employees.
Mini China previously stated that the donation was “intended to give sweetness to friends big and small.”
On Friday, BMW did not immediately respond to a BBC request for additional comment.
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With over 93 million views, the topic “BMW Mini” soon became one of the top searches on Weibo.
The feedback was mostly negative. “You should have specified that the initial purpose was to give ‘foreign’ big and small friends sweetness,” a post with over 165,000 likes said.
“I feel ashamed as a Mini owner,” another person stated.
Following the event, one vlogger distributed ice cream in front of Mini’s auto show stand.