Chinese New Year commercial from Alibaba has been credited with breaking down some barriers by featuring a gay couple.ds
The 20-second Tmall ad begins with a guy arriving at his parent’s door for a Spring Festival get-together and introducing his mom to Kevin, his apparent boyfriend. It then ends with the family gathered around the dinner table as the protagonist’s father passes Kevin a bowl of rice.
“Thank you, Dad,” Kevin responds, resulting in an awkward silence from the rest of the table.
Alibaba's Tmall promo subtly shows gay and lesbian couples celebrating new year with their families. The ad doesn't explicitly mention LGBTQ but it's a rare representation done by a big Chinese company. pic.twitter.com/SxBYR4ekym
— Toni (but what’s your *real* name?) (@tony_zy) January 8, 2020
While the commercial doesn’t feature an explicit pro-LGBT message, it stands out simply for including a gay couple in the first place. Depictions of homosexuality are banned and censored by Chinese authorities in movies and TV shows.
“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 about the commercial.
Previously, Alibaba had reached out to LGBT customers in 2015 by teaming up with gay dating app Blued to fly 10 gay couples to California to get married.