Why a Chinese smartphone ad drew Beijing’s ire over Hong Kong protests

Chinese companies are usually very good at toeing the ruling Communist Party’s line on political issues like the Hong Kong protests. And those who exhibit any confusion about exactly where that red line is are quickly schooled.

Chinese tech company Xiaomi, the fourth-largest smartphone maker globally, is a case in point. The company was attacked by Hunaqiu.com, a website operated by hawkish state-owned tabloid Global Times, after an advertisement for a TV from the company’s budget brand appeared to make a reference to a rallying cry of the Hong Kong protesters.

“Five platforms, not one less,” was the slogan in an ad for Redmi’s first smart TV product, which was posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo on Tuesday (Aug. 27), in reference to the five video-streaming platforms supported by the television set, including those offered by iQiyi and Tencent Video. The caption is rather similar to the “five demands, not one less” slogan chanted by Hong Kong protestors  who were initially fighting against a controversial extradition bill but now have five key requests.

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