China fines Sony for launching anniversary event

BEIJING – Chinese authorities have announced a fine of one million yuan ($ 155,500) on the Chinese subsidiary of the Sony group for violating advertising laws.

The electronics-to-entertainment conglomerate came under fire in China this summer after announcing plans to hold a product launch event on July 7, the anniversary of the Japan-China clash in 1937 that led to the full-fledged Second Sino-Japanese War.

Sony apologized and canceled the event following a major backlash. However, Chinese authorities still fined the company last week, claiming its actions undermined the nation’s dignity.

China’s Advertising Law states that online advertising must not undermine the dignity or interests of the state. The fine of one million yuan that Sony must pay is the maximum amount stipulated by Chinese law.

Sony’s Chinese unit said the company “respects the decision and will cooperate.” The unit said, “We have carefully reviewed and improved our operations under the direction of the relevant State Department so as not to make similar mistakes,” adding that “we will use this case as a lesson to take preventative action. appropriate in our daily operations. “

July 7 marks the anniversary of the Marco Polo Bridge incident in 1937, which sparked the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Chinese authorities also said they fined Samsung Electronics’ Chinese unit in South Korea 400,000 yuan, claiming that the company’s ads for two smartphone models violated interference laws. social order and incitement to disobedience.

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