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Chinese company apologises for racist ad

The company expresses its regret, saying it strongly stands against racial discrimination.

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The company expresses its regret, saying it strongly condemns racial discrimination.

"We express regret that the ad should have caused a controversy," the statement issued late on Saturday said. "But we will not shun responsibility for controversial content."

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"We express our apology for the harm caused to the African people because of the spread of the ad and the over-amplification by the media," the company said.

"We sincerely hope the public and the media will not over-read it."

The detergent-making company lays blame at the feet of foreign media for whipping up controversy, saying several news outlets had overblown the ad, which in fact had first appeared on Chinese social media as far back as March.

The said ad features a black man "washed" by its product, after being shoved into a washing machine by an Asian woman with whom he had been flirting.

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The man, carrying a tin of paint, wore soiled clothes and had paint on his face before being pushed into the machine. When the cycle completes, a fair-skinned Asian man in a clean white T-shirt emerges to the delight of the woman.

When speaking to the Chinese nationalist newspaper The Global Times, a company representative, Mr. Wang, said the critics were "too sensitive," and the issue of racial discrimination never came up during the production of the video.

The company had to pull the ad after the clip went viral this week and drew outrage from both social media and scores of media outlets outside the country.

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