Daily Management Review

Pressure From China Forces Maserati To Dissociate From Film Awards Event In Taiwan


Pressure From China Forces Maserati To Dissociate From Film Awards Event In Taiwan
The tensions between China and Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory, has plunged another Westenrn company into damage control mode.
A local dealer of the Italian luxury car brand Maserati and one that is linked to the Golden Horse Awards of Taiwan has been asked by the Italian company to cut ties with the awards ceremony which is touted to be the equivalent of Hollywood's Academy Awards in Asia, said Maserati in a statement.
Fiat Chrysler owned Maserati said that this measure taken by it was in response to what it called were "recent media reports" about the company having renewed its contract fop sponsorship for the awards. The annual festival that is held in Taipei has been caught up in the cross fire of the political tensions over the island.  
The stated stand of China on Taiwan, self-governed and democratic region with a population of 23 million and situated on the southeastern coast of China, is that it is part of its territory. After the Communist victory on the Chinese mainland after a bloody civil war, the two parties split in 1949.
"Maserati always respects China's territorial integrity, history and culture, and firmly upholds the one-China principle," the carmaker said in its statement, which was published on its verified Weibo account.
The island's authorities had founded the Golden Horse awards in 1962. But in recent years, the festival has transformed into one of the major occasions for Chinese film makers all across the world to show their talent and work. Film stars from Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China and elsewhere also regularly participate in the festival.
The festival was thrown into controversy last year after a controversy erupted over a young Taiwanese filmmaker being awarded for best documentary.
"I really hope our country will one day be treated as a genuine independent entity," Fu Yue said. "This is my biggest wish as a Taiwanese."
The audience that had gathered at the festival had cheered. However there was outrage in China about the comments by Fu and she was severely criticized on her social media. Later after Fu was defended by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and raised the awards for highlighting the island's freedoms, there was a major controversy.
"We have never accepted and will never accept the 'Taiwan, China' label — Taiwan is Taiwan," she said at the time.
Within the last couple of years, a number of Western companies such as Christian Dior, Gap, Zara and a few American airlines have had to apologize about how they had depicted Taiwan. For example, last week, the French fashion brand Dior was virtually forced to issue a statement saying that it supports China’s claim over Taiwan and China’s "sovereignty and integrity" after the company had used a map that showed China minus Taiwan.
Apart from the statement, there were no more comments from Maserati.
According to archived versions of the Golden Horse Awards website, it was as far back as December of 2018 that Maserati was apparently listed as one of the sponsors of the festival. However in its statement, the company clarified that the sponsorship belonged to a "local dealer" and that it "does not represent the official position of the Maserati brand". It "deeply regretted" the incident and "will strengthen supervision in the future" to ensure it doesn't happen again, the company said.