Socionomics Alert: China Gets Triggered Over Pig Comment

China had 5-minutes of hate after UBS' chief economist made a cheeky comment about African Swine Flu. Chinese then intentionally misinterpreted the comment and blew it up into an international incident.

This is the type of thing that occurs almost weekly on Twitter in the United States and also on Weibo/WeChat in China, where comments are taken out of context and blown up into 5-minutes of hate. Yet this wasn't a bunch of emotionally unstable Twitterati, it triggered financial professionals. The trade war is heating up and you can expect any minor incident, including throwaway comments on social media, to be blown out of proportion as global social mood begins its long descent.
A flippant reference to pigs in an inflation analysis by UBS Group AG's global chief economist has caused a furore in China, with some in the financial community rejecting UBS's apology and calling for a boycott.

Paul Donovan, global chief economist of the Swiss bank's wealth management department since 2016, said in a podcast that higher consumer prices due to sickness among pigs would matter to a Chinese pig.

"Does it matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig. It matters if you like eating pork in China," he said in the podcast on Wednesday, the transcript of which was posted on UBS's official website and later taken down.

His comments caused a stir among Chinese finance professionals, who said they were "distasteful and racist".

It even drew the attention of an influential state tabloid, the Global Times, which said Chinese internet users were outraged by the language used in the analysis of consumer prices.

"We apologise unreservedly for any misunderstanding caused by these innocently intended comments by Paul Donovan," UBS said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
Global Times: Chinese netizens reject UBS apology after issuing a 'racist' report on China’s inflation


  1. The reaction to this is shamefully pathetic, and I cannot believe that the outrage is sincere either.

    1. I can understand the social media outrage because the translation sites don't translate humor, but as is usual, there are no brakes on the mob. Corporations almost always cave, and rather quick like UBS.