Companies in China are hurrying to separate themselves from geopolitical concerns over Taiwan, from a Chinese soy sauce company to an Asia-focused asset management, following a high-profile US official’s visit to the island last week.
China claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last week, defying Beijing’s warnings, has provoked a wave of Chinese nationalism and massive military drills.
Chinese social media users have harshly criticized firms and personalities they perceive to be disloyal or supportive of Taiwan’s independence, such as candy company Snickers, whose owner apologized last week for a product launch that was perceived to imply Taiwan is a country.
On Saturday, Foshan Haitian Flavoring and Food Co Ltd, China’s largest soy sauce manufacturer by sales, issued a long apology, stating it had dismissed an anonymous employee who gained prominence on social media with a private post celebrating Pelosi’s visit.
Another company, Asia-focused asset management Matthews International Capital Management, published a statement on Monday after being portrayed as being created by Pelosi’s husband by the Beijing-backed Hong Kong daily Ta Kung Pao, stating such charges were “factually inaccurate.”
Chinese state media have issued warnings, advising businesses to reconsider their access to the world’s second largest economy in light of the Taiwan crisis and Pelosi, who has been sanctioned by China following her visit.