Same-Sex Couple in Alibaba's New Ad Praised

By Rakini Bergundy, January 10, 2020

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A new 23-second ad by Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall has caught the attention and praise of LGBTQ allies and advocates around the web. 

While homosexuality is not illegal in China, it still faces “persistent discrimination and prejudices from the government and public,” cites CNN. The ad starts off with a man bringing home a partner for the holidays who he introduces as Kelvin, two girls giggle about the situation. Later on when the family sits down to eat, the father hands Kelvin some soup and he responds with “thanks dad,” another surprising and funny moment. 

Skip to 0:18 to watch the subtle ad (VPN off): 

The video went viral this week when LoveMatters, an organization that provides education and advice about sex and relationships, posted it on their Weibo account. As of press time, the video has been viewed over five million times, has over 100,000 likes and more than 5,000 comments that are overwhelmingly positive. 

Alibaba stated to CNN, “Chinese New Year is a time for family reunion and inclusion, and the ad is a creative expression to celebrate such an occasion.” While Alibaba neither takes an explicit pro or anti-LGBTQ stance, audiences appreciate the inclusivity nonetheless. 

Duncan Clark, author of Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, commented that the ad isn’t “an unprecedented one for Alibaba.” In 2015, Taobao, which is also owned by Alibaba, sponsored a contest to send gay couples from China to get married in California. The contest tagline was “As long as you have true love, Taobao will help you realize the dream.” Clark adds, that the subtly of the ads, can allow companies to fly under the radar of government restrictions.

READ MORE: Weibo Reverses Brief Ban on LGBT Content

[Cover image: screengrab via QQ]

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