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The advertisement for a breakfast sandwich, broadcast only in Taiwan, shows a two-second glimpse of a woman's identity card that lists her nationality as "Taiwan."
Comments on internet bulletin boards on Monday accused McDonald's of violating Chinese law by supporting independence for Taiwan, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.
Some called for a boycott of the restaurant chain. Others said McDonald's, whose mainland franchises are owned by a group that includes the Chinese Cabinet's investment arm, should be expelled from China.
"McDonald's this is what you want to do? Help Taiwan independence?" said a posting on the Sina.com portal signed "Good Knife Still."
Phone calls to McDonald's China headquarters were not answered.