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China: Alibaba receives positive feedback for featuring gay couple in Chinese New Year Ad for Tmall

Author: SupChina, Published on: 13 January 2020

“Alibaba Features Gay Couple In Chinese New Year Ad Campaign For Tmall”, 9 January 2020

Tmall, an online marketplace owned by Chinese tech giant Alibaba, has been showered with praise — especially from the LGBT community — after releasing a Chinese New Year–themed commercial that features a same-sex couple, which is very rare in ad campaigns by Chinese brands.

In a series of commercials that advertise Tmall’s special deals for the upcoming Spring Festival, one installment (in Chinese) depicts a common occasion during the holiday season, where young people bring their partners home to meet their parents. But instead of taking a conventional approach of portraying a hetreosexual couple, the video puts two men in a homosexual relationship at the center…

The video has been widely circulated on social media, racking up millions of views and an avalanche of positive feedback…

When contacted by CNN for comment, Alibaba denied creating the commercial with a gay theme in mind. “Chinese New Year is a time for family reunion and inclusion, and the ad is a creative expression to celebrate such an occasion,” the company said.

But there’s evidence that Alibaba actively sought to disseminate the commercial among LGBT consumers. On January 9, Gay Voices, one of Weibo’s major LGBT accounts, with more than 1.8 million followers, revealed (in Chinese) that Tmall paid 5,000 yuan ($720) for the sponsored content and that it would donate the money to its hotline project, which delivers advice, support, and information services to the LGBT community.

CNN also noted that this is not the first time that Alibaba has tried to be more inclusive of LGBT individuals in its commercials. In 2015, Taobao, another Alibaba-owned ecommerce platform, collaborated with the gay dating app Blued to sponsor Chinese gay couples to travel to California to get married… In the same year, Tmall subtly incorporated sexual orientation into an image of its mascot by painting it in rainbow colors…

Read the full post here

Related companies: Alibaba.com