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Daily DripEntertainment

Chinese Netizens Slam Audi and Andy Lau for Ad Plagiarism

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German luxury carmaker Audi recently came under fire on Chinese social media for its new advertisement featuring veteran Hong Kong star Andy Lau. According to allegations, the ad is pretty much an exact rip-off of an earlier video by Chinese vlogger Beida Mange.

On May 22, one day after releasing the video, Audi, Lau, and London-based advertising agency M&C Saatchi apologized and withdrew the advertisement.

“We sincerely apologize for troubling Andy Lau, Beida Mange, and any other parties due to a lack of supervision and a lax video review,” posted Audi on Weibo.

Nevertheless, the scandal has remained a heated topic over the past few days, with a related hashtag accumulating more than 520 million views. Many Chinese netizens are still debating who should be held responsible for the fiasco.

Andy Lau Audi Ad

Screenshots of Audi’s video advertisement starring Andy Lau

In the plagiarized ad, Lau is seen taking an Audi for a cruise in the countryside. Known as one of China’s ‘Kings of Cantopop’ and for starring in smash hits like House of the Flying Daggers, the actor explains the meaning behind Xiaoman, the eighth solar term in the Chinese calendar (May 21 this year). 

Beida Mange

Beida Mange exposing Audi on Douyin

Though beautifully worded, Lau’s grand speech had essentially been stolen from one of Beida Mange’s videos from 2021.

On the evening of May 21, the influencer posted a seven-minute video on Douyin, China’s equivalent of TikTok, alerting his 3 million followers that he’d been plagiarized.

Andi Lau Audi Ad

Screenshots comparing Andi Lau’s Audi Ad to Beida Mange’s 2021 video

Most criticisms have been directed at Audi, not Lau, although the actor has not escaped unscathed.

One fan rose to Lau’s defense by asking, “Why should an actor take responsibility for the script?”

“Andy Lau was paid to be filmed in the Audi ad, and he has fulfilled the corresponding obligation,” opined a Weibo user identifying themselves as a lawyer.

Meanwhile, a third netizen commented, “China is a country ruled by law; everyone should respectively share legal responsibility.”

At the time of writing, the vlogger had not taken legal action.

All images via Weibo

Hanna Ramirez
    Hanna is currently a grad student at the University of Southern California in their East Asian Area studied department. She is currently an editorial intern at RADII based in Los Angeles, California. She is passionate about Chinese culture and language, especially Chinese film and contemporary art. In her free time, you can find her exploring new restaurants in Los Angeles, shopping for makeup with her friends, or painting.

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