Chinese pop star cuts ties with watch brand over Taiwan comments

Chinese pop star cuts ties with watch brand over Taiwan comments
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Chinese pop star Lu Han has announced that he cut ties with the Swiss luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet over their CEO’s comments about Taiwan, The Associated Press reported.

In a video circulating online, Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias referred to Taiwan, which China claims as a territory, as an “ultra-modern, high-tech country” during an interview. 

In a statement, Lu, who has been an ambassador for Audemars Piguet since 2018, shared that he cut ties with the luxury brand even though he and his team urged them to apologize for Bennahmias’s comments, according to AP. 

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“National interests are above all else, Lu Han and Lu Han’s studio will defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Lu said in a statement. 

China’s government often objects to Taiwan being mentioned as a self-governing country, but other countries have diplomatic relations with both nations, the AP reported.

This comes as more than 30 Chinese celebrities have ended brand relationships with Nike, H&M and Adidas due to the brands showing concern over the use of Xinjiang cotton stemming from complaints of abuse and discrimination against ethnic minority groups. 

In a statement, Audemars Piguet apologized for Bennahmias remarks, stating that they always follow “China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the AP noted. 

“We apologize for the recent incorrect statement. Audemars Piguet has always adhered to the one-China position and firmly safeguarded China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Audemars Piguet said.