Social media users are praising e-commerce giant Alibaba for featuring a gay couple in its latest Chinese New Year advertisement for Tmall.
The 20-second ad features a man visiting his partner’s home for Chinese New Year. He introduces his partner to his mother as Kelvin and refers to him as a friend, according to Pink News.
The camera then shifts to the father who looks at the couple suspiciously while the two girls begin giggling, presumably knowing that the two men are romantically involved. Kelvin then greets his partner’s father as “dad,” resulting in awkward silence.
The ad then ends with a narrator promoting a site-wide discount for the coming holiday.
“Chinese New Year is a time for family reunion and inclusion, and the ad is a creative expression to celebrate such an occasion,” Alibaba said in a statement.
Social media users received the ad very well, with some LGBTQ audience members commenting that the ad was good-natured and humorous but appropriately subtle.
Discussions of LGBTQ matters in Chinese media are often censored, while representation in media remains scarce, South China Morning Post noted.
“The support of large companies for sexual minorities is one of the important factors for sexual minorities to gain visibility and be seen and recognized by the public. Thank you Tmall!” Lovematters, an LGBTQ-themed account on China’s Weibo, wrote in a post via Reuters.
Another top comment noted that the ad “doesn’t directly support or not support [same-sex realtions], but the fact that we can see it is already an amazing step.”
This is not the first time Alibaba has expressed its support for the LGBTQ community in China. The company also paid for Chinese gay couples to get married in California.
Feature Image Screenshot via South China Morning Post