Popular Netflix Thai drama "Girl from Nowhere" has become the latest target of Chinese nationalism on the internet, for treating Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate countries by using their flags.

According to a report in the Associated Press, a number of comments posted online on Wednesday complained that the Facebook page of the Netflix series shows the flags of Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by the ruling Communist Party of China as part of its territory. Also seen is the flag of Hong Kong, where the party is trying to crush pro-democracy activism.

The flags, which were also accompanied by those of Singapore and other markets, were posted along "Thank you" messages in local languages for the series' popularity. The use of separate messages for Hong Kong and Taiwan instead of considering them included in the message for China, has left the country questioning the motive of the streaming giant.

"This is a (profanity) split! Does China need to say thank you for this? Bah! This is a blatant split!" wrote a user of the Chinese micro-blogging website Sina Weibo. Another commentator wrote: "Nanno (the central character in the show) I like you a lot, but sorry, you crossed my line. Goodbye. Think clearly about what kind of country China is before getting benefits from us."

Netflix has not yet responded to the criticism, some of which have been left on its website, and hasn't made any changes to its Facebook post in question. Netflix is not yet available in China, while Facebook can only be seen by those with virtual private network software used to evade the government's filters. The Chinese viewers of the Thai show streamed it on bilibili.com, which allows users to upload their own videos, but the series doesn't appear on other services that show movies and TV series approved by Chinese censors.

Netflix is not the first international company to find itself embroiled in a political controversy in China, over the country's dispute with Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, and other issues including accusations of human rights violations. In August 2019, a number of fashion firms including Calvin Klein, Coach, and Givenchy had to apologise for implying that Taiwan and Hong Kong are separate from China on their websites and T-shirts.

H&M also lost a huge part of its consumer base in the country this year after a call for a boycott because of its statement that it would no longer use cotton from Xinjiang, due to reports of forced labour and other human rights abuses in the region. The ruling party hit back at the Swedish fashion brand as well as other foreign companies like Adidas and Nike over their statements.

The party, led by President Xi Jinping, has asked global companies wanting to do business with the country to conform in public to Beijing's political positions.

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