Case Maker Lian Li Embroiled in Taiwan Flag Drama

Lian Li O11D EVO
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Lian Li made an apology to Chinese netizens this weekend. The iconic glass-and-aluminum PC case maker, based in Keelung, Taiwan, found itself in hot water for using the Taiwanese flag in its website language selection menu, reports SETN News.

After many complaints on Chinese tech forums - due to a perceived 'One China' principle transgression - Lian Li apologized for "a staff error." However, China's army of keyboard warriors appears to remain unsatisfied, as Lian Li only issued its apology on China-based social media properties such as BiliBili and Weibo.

(Image credit: Weibo)

In some world regions / some platforms, the Lian Li website will give visitors a language choice option. Next to the site language options, there is a little flag providing a visual cue to the language selection. Normally, this would be viewed as a refined and helpful aspect of a language selection UI, but not in this case. Lian Li's "staff error," was to use the Taiwanese flag, also known as the flag of the Republic of China or ROC, to indicate the on-screen language choice of Traditional Chinese. Traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, with Chinese mainlanders (People's Republic of China, PRC) tending to prefer Simplified Chinese.

(Image credit: Weibo)

After some commotion in China about the use of the Taiwan ROC flag by Lian Li, the case and cooling firm decided to publish the apology above. You can follow the link in the intro for the Weibo post. But for our readership, a Google-translated version of the post has been screen-grabbed and embedded.

It is clearly in Lian Li's commercial interests to appease indignant Chinese readers complaining about the Taiwan flag on its site. Apparently, setting out to soothe this sizable market, the case maker wrote that "The wrong flag setting was caused by a staff error," adding that "After receiving the feedback, we have rectified it as soon as possible." Lian Li then offered its verbal support of the 'One China Principle', asserting that it "firmly supports the 1992 Consensus" on the issue. Lian Li added a further apology at the end of its apology, for good measure.

Lian Li's attempt to gloss over its Taiwan flag slip has seemingly left few people satisfied. Chinese netizens seem to see the apology, limited to Chinese social media, as insincere and two-faced. On the flip side, Taiwanese citizens have reportedly been mocking Lian Li as it kowtows to Chinese internet users. Apparently, Lian Li has been pruning Facebook comments by annoyed Taiwanese readers, explaining that the social media page is "for product discussion only."

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.