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Chinese brands' websites turn monochrome following death of China's former leader

Chinese brands' websites turn monochrome following death of China's former leader

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Chinese brands have switched their websites to black and white in response to the passing of China's former leader Jiang Zemin.

A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw Chinese brands such as Li-Ning, Weibo and Taobao have displayed their websites in monochrome. Search engine sites such as Baidu has also turned its homepage to black and white.

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This move has drawn mixed reactions with some netizens on Xiaohongshu said this is causing a negative impact on shoppers' willingness to shop, while some commented they thought their phones got hacked, a check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw. 

baidu black and white


On the other hand, Hong Kong authorities have removed their black and white portraits on official websites after netizens questioned if the posting of black and white photos was appropriate in response to the passing of China's former leader Jiang Zemin.

This comes as the official portraits and website homepage photos of Hong Kong’s leader John Lee and other government officials were switched to black and white, to mourn the death of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin on Wednesday at the age of 96. 

john lee black and white

According to an official statement, Lee expressed deep sorrow over the passing of Jiang, “Being the core of the Communist Party of China's third generation of central collective leadership and the principal founder of the Theory of Three Represents, president Jiang was widely recognised as an outstanding leader with high prestige.”

“He broke new grounds for the country's comprehensive reform and opening up, implemented the basic policies of law-based governance of the country and upheld the principles of 'peaceful reunification of China' and 'one country, two systems', making great contributions to the realisation of the smooth return of Hong Kong and Macao," Lee added.

However, the move has copped flak as some Hong Kong netizens believed the change was inappropriate and questioned if it was a mistake made by the government’s IT department, according to social monitoring firm CARMA.

“Many netizens still managed to spot the black-and-white photo, although it was removed from the website fairly quickly. The majority of mentions came from LIHKG, where we saw related discussions started at around 11pm on 30 November,” said Charles Cheung, GM of CARMA.

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“We saw a total of 25% negative mentions, and one of the most engaged LIHKG posts generated over 400 engagements, with some users sharing the screenshot of the black-and-white photo,” Cheung added.

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