Iconic jeweler Tiffany & Co. deleted a tweet with an image of a Chinese model covering one eye after backlash over speculation the ad was a veiled statement of support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
Model Sun Feifei showed off a Tiffany ring while covering her right eye with her hand in the ad, which critics connected to a pose adopted by Hong Kong protesters after clashes with police left two women with eye injuries, reported AFP.
"This campaign image, which was photographed in May 2019, was in no way intended to be a political statement of any kind." Tiffany & Co. told FOX Business in a statement.
"We regret that it may be perceived as such, and in turn have removed the image from our digital and social media channels and will discontinue its use effective immediately."
Mainland China is Tiffany's third largest market, while Hong Kong is its fourth largest market, the spokesman told FOX Business.
Meanwhile, the NBA has been embroiled in controversy after Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey voiced support for the Hong Kong protesters. China is an important market to the NBA, which finally said it stands for the free speech of employees on Tuesday.