Cathay Pacific, an unofficial “flag” carrier of Hong Kong that has been in the hot water with the mainland lately, made a post on Chinese social network before China’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Beijing yesterday.
The tone of the post on Weibo is overly patriotic considering the riots and demonstrations taking place in Hong Kong over China’s encroaching rule of the state despite “one country – two systems” principle that was supposed to be in place for 50.
Here’s the text with the photos:
Recently, when you are ready to board the plane, do you notice a bright red flag at the boarding gate? On the National Day, Cathay Pacific Airways invites you to participate in the #我和国旗同框# photo taken by @央视新闻 . Many passengers and our employees have waved the small flag in their hands to offer the most sincere blessings to the motherland!
Here’s an excerpt from Marketing Interactive (access their piece here):
The oddly-timed post, considering the current situation, for the city’s carrier is not being well received by Hongkongers who are sharing it on social media. Reactions have been running the gamut from pity to outrage, with some users sympathizing that Cathay Pacific has little choice but to comply with requests by the mainland to (in this case literally) to wave the flag. Many other comments have said that the airline can no longer count itself as an independently functioning private company or even a Hong Kong company anymore, as this post follows the politically charged firing of cabin crew, ground staff, and pilots in recent months.
Well. I guess that Cathay Pacific doesn’t have any other option than trying to please Beijing while possibly angering some at its base in Hong Kong.
I think that having these up on their Weibo considering what went on in Hong Kong yesterday is not the brightest idea.