Trending This Week on Social Media: Mercedes Benz Apologises to China for Using His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Quote

Mercedes Benz official Instagram post, Photo courtesy: Te-Ping Chen @tepingchen

By Tenzin Jigme

‘Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open,’ is trending this week on our social media sites. German luxury car maker Mercedes Benz allegedly faced outrage from Chinese netizens after the company used a quote attributed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama as part of their #MondayMotivation ad. The ad features the quote with a white luxury car parked on a beach and was shared on the company’s official Instagram page, on 6 February 2018.

Mercedes Benz Emphatic Apology letter to China on its official Weibo account



Mercedes Benz Emphatic Apology letter to China in English translation


Chinese netizens allegedly expressed outrage and demanded to remove the quote upon seeing the post and sought apology for hurting the sentiments of the Chinese people from Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes Benz. Ironically, Instagram is blocked in China like most global social media sites. Only Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, is widely popular in China.

Te-Ping Chen, Wall Street Journal Reporter based in Beijing, reposted Mercedes Benz post on her twitter account @tepingchen

Following the alleged outrage by Chinese netizens, the step taken by the company to apologise to China was widely criticised. Tibet supporters and activists accused Daimler of kowtowing to dictatorships and taking a back step on free speech.

The Tibet Initiative Deutschland which is founded in 1989 in Germany, an organization that advocates for Human rights and right to self-determination in Tibet, posted pictures with persons holding placard reading ‘Consider a situation from all sides and your wrist more open’ in their official Facebook page.

Tibet Initiative Deutschland on their official Facebook page posted placard reading ‘Consider a situation from all sides and you wrist more open’ in their official Facebook page.’

The case of Mercedes Benz is not the first instance that invited the wrath of China. Earlier this year, Marriot hotel had to bow down to China over a questionnaire in which the hotel chain listed Tibet as a country. Delta Airlines and Zara, the European clothing retailer, were also chastised for listing Tibet and Taiwan as separate countries.

Tibetan Review posted Jamyang Phuntsok drawing depicting China’s bullying nature



Michael Buckley, the author of Melt down in Tibet, on his twitter account @HaikuBuckeroo, shared a line from Tom Lehrer (1960s), satirical singer for US television show That was Week that was

Tibet Relief Fund edited the Mercedes Benz Instagram posted Confucius quote: The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.


Manjeet Varerkar, account director at Goldman Communication Inc in Toronto-Canada, volunteer for Free Tibet, post title: Thirty Pieces of Silver from the bible which means blood money Judas Iscariot received for betraying Jesus to the authorities

Jackey Hong, Chinese citizen, on his twitter account @jackeyhong2 read: I am a Chinese and I do not have any problem with this quote.

International Campaign for Tibet-Germany posted Shameful kowtow before dictatorship

Tenzin Dorje, Tibetan activisit and singer redesign Mercedes Benz logo for kowtowing before China.

Twitterati shared their comments, views of Mercedes Benz kowtowing to China

*Tenzin Jigme is DIIR’s social media journalist