Automaker Hyundai has recently been the target of fury from Indian netizens after its Pakistani social media page posted a tweet on the highly controversial and sensitive topic of Kashmir on February 5. Several other international brands have also faced Indian anger over similar posts on “Kashmir Solidarity Day,” a day Pakistan has observed for more than a decade in an attempt to show support for separatist elements working on the Indian side of the border.
International brands that support such a sensitive topic have not been well received by Indians who have frequented such brands for a long time.
This was followed by apologies from almost every brand for their act. Below we list over the past two days, Twitter has been a hub for people expressing outrage and brands coming forward to apologize.
Below is a list of brands whose Pakistani handles had posted messages on “Kashmir Solidarity Day” and then later issued an apology.
hyundai– After a post from the brand’s Pakistani retailer went viral, the brand apologized twice. In its first attempt at an apology which was widely rejected by people, the brand said: “The unsolicited social media post linking Hyundai Motor India is offensive and our unprecedented commitment and service to this great country. India is the second home of the Hyundai brand and we have a zero tolerance policy towards insensitive communications and we strongly condemn such a view.
— Hyundai India (@HyundaiIndia) February 6, 2022
After that, the company issued a new statement which read, “It is clearly against Hyundai Motor policy for the Independent Distributor in Pakistan to post unauthorized posts on Kashmir-related social media from its own accounts.
“Once the situation was brought to our attention, we made the distributor aware of the inappropriateness of the action. We have since taken steps to ensure that the distributor who misused the Hyundai brand identity removed the social media posts and we have processes in place to prevent future recurrence. Our subsidiary, Hyundai Motor India, is not associated with the distributor in Pakistan, and we strongly reject the distributor’s unauthorized non-commercial social media activity,” he added.
— Hyundai India (@HyundaiIndia) February 8, 2022
In addition, according to reports, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said that South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong expressed his regrets to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, following a call for offense caused by Hyundai Pakistan’s social media post.
Bagchi also said that immediately after the post was noticed on February 6, 2022, the Indian Ambassador in Seoul contacted Hyundai headquarters for an explanation, after which the post in question was removed from the aforementioned handle.
KFC- The restaurant brand has apologized for the post on its social media account outside the country, although the apology does not contain the name “Pakistan”.
“We deeply apologize for a message that was posted on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honor and respect India and stand by our commitment to serve all Indians with pride,” he said.
The brand’s Pakistani handle had posted a post on ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ last year which read phrases like ‘Their desires for freedom are sincere’, the post has now been deleted.
We deeply apologize for a message that was posted on some KFC social media channels outside the country. We honor and respect India, and remain true to our commitment to serve all Indians with pride.
— KFC India (@KFC_India) February 7, 2022
dominoes – The brand’s social media manager in Pakistan had said: “The nation is one in support of our beloved Kashmiris, may they soon live as a sovereign nation.”
Apologizing this time to India, the brand said it regretted unsolicited content posted outside the country.
This is the country we’ve called home for the past 25 years, and we’re here to protect its legacy forever. We respect and honor all that the country has to offer. pic.twitter.com/8II6XuLxb0
— dominoes_india (@dominoes_india) February 8, 2022
KIA– The brand said it has a clear policy of not engaging in political and cultural issues and its commitment remains to provide market leading products in India.
Statement from Kia India: pic.twitter.com/FKiUI2PXxt
— Kia India (@KiaInd) February 8, 2022
Toyota- The auto brand said in its apology that it is a non-political entity and any political statements made by dealers or other stakeholders are not authorized by the company.
— Toyota India (@Toyota_India) February 8, 2022
He later said in a new statement that strict action had been taken against unauthorized postings.
— Toyota India (@Toyota_India) February 8, 2022
Suzuki Motor Corporation – The company said any type of communication from a dealer does not represent the company.
Message from Suzuki Motor Corporation pic.twitter.com/zI05ImcGUU
— Motorcycle Suzuki India (@suzuki2wheelers) February 8, 2022
Honda- Automotive brand Honda Motors, in its published apology, said: “As part of its policy, Honda strives to ensure that in whatever part of the world it has a presence, it avoids commentary on the race, politics and religion.” It added that any statements made by dealers, associates or stakeholders are not in accordance with its policy.
— Honda 2 wheeler (@honda2wheelerin) February 8, 2022
Willmar Schwabe – According to the homeopathic medicine society, the news of its support for the solidarity day is false. He said the company has no legal entity in Pakistan and is currently investigating the person behind such activity.
As a business policy, Schwabe Group does not comment on political or religious issues in a specific region. The company, Dr. Willmar Schwabe India has become aware of the message circulating on social media (WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook etc.)
— Schwabe India (@schwabeindia) February 8, 2022
Pizza Hut – The fast-food chain, which like many others posted messages on February 5, said in a public statement: “It does not condone, support or endorse the content of any message circulating on social networks. We remain true to our commitment to serve all our brothers and sisters with pride.