China-Themed Holiday Card From SolarWorld Provokes Anger

Posted by SI Staff on January 18, 2012 No Comments
Categories : New & Noteworthy

A holiday greeting card mailed out last month by SolarWorld AG has been called racist for its images referencing subsidiary SolarWorld Industries America's anti-dumping complaint and countervailing-duty petition filed last October against China.

In an interview with Oregon Business, Ocean Yuan, founder of Eugene, Ore.-based module provider Grape Solar, described the controversial card as depicting a caricature of a shrugging Chinese man in a Santa outfit. The picture is accompanied by a ‘holiday wish list’ of SolarWorld's priorities, including ‘job creation’ and ‘safe warranties.’

Yuan told Oregon Business that he has expressed his outrage in a letter to Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. Both senators have publicly supported SolarWorld's trade complaint.

Jigar Shah, founder of the Carbon War Room and president of the Coalition for Affordable Solar – which opposes SolarWorld's trade complaint – called out SolarWorld on Twitter, describing the card as ‘blatantly racist.’

SolarWorld Industries America Inc. has distanced itself from the controversial card, noting in a statement on its website that it did not ‘approve, use or distribute the card in any way.’

‘Despite trade tensions within our industry, we honor the rich heritage and culture of China and all people throughout the world,’ said spokesperson Ben Santarris, in the statement.

SolarWorld AG also posted a statement via spokesperson Milan Nitzschke, apologizing for ‘any offense that may have been caused’ by the card. Nitzschke added that the card in question was distributed only to a ‘limited number of recipients in Europe.’

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