Former soccer star David Beckham landed himself in hot water after posting a series of clips on social media captioned “Great 48 hours in China” when they appeared to have been recorded in Hong Kong. Clearly, Hongkongers were not delighted to be labelled as being part of the mainland.
Beckham visited Hong Kogn as well as Shanghai last week to promote the AIA Group, a Hong Kong life insurance company that he is now the new global ambassador for, according to Shanghaiist.
The 41-year-old British celebrity’s Facebook and Instagram pages quickly got trapped in the middle of a heated debate that reflected the divide on whether Hong Kong is or is not part of China.
While Instagram is one of the many sites blocked in China, it didn’t stop netizens from giving Beckham a piece of their mind:
“This is Hong Kong not China. Thank you for visiting us David. I like you, but sorry, Hong Kong is Hong Kong. We are totally different from China!” one user wrote.
“The full name of Hongkong is Hongkong Special Administrative Region of People’s Republic of China, Yes Hongkong is part of China, live with that,” another commented.
“Hmmm…serious problem with HK’s education. Many youngsters these days don’t know/recognise their nationality and history of HK,” one more user said.
Another netizen demanded that he “Please change to ‘Great 48 hours in Hong Kong’. We have our own government, currency, even Football Team!”
And that’s exactly what Beckham did, editing his caption to read: “Great 48 hours in Shanghai and Hong Kong.”
While many people in Hong Kong thanked Beckham for making the correction, it was clearly not enough for others, with one Instagram user saying: “I think I will stop supporting you now. Because you changed ’48 hours in China’ to ‘in Shanghai and Hongkong’ which clearly shows your political view that Hongkong does not belong to China. What you have done as a celebrity was really a shame.”