Saturday 15 June 2019 11:06 am

UBS economist must ‘pay the price’ over Chinese pigs comment, state media says


Reporter at City A.M. covering banking, markets and insurance

Reporter at City A.M. covering banking, markets and insurance

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Chinese state media has warned UBS economist Paul Donovan must “pay the price” over remarks he made referencing Chinese pigs.

The Swiss banking giant apologised earlier this week after its global chief economist’s comments sparked outrage in China.

Read more: UBS apologises after economist’s ‘Chinese pigs’ comment sparks public outrage

Donovan made the comments in reference to a rise in Chinese consumer prices, which has been driven by surging pork prices after an outbreak of swine fever.


In a morning audio note he said: “Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig. It matters if you like eating pork in China – it “does not really matter to the rest of the world.”

UBS apologised for the “innocently intended” comments and put the economist on leave.

“Whether or not Donovan was fired is still unknown, but those who insult Chinese people must pay the price,” the People’s Daily, the newspaper of China’s Communist Party, said in a commentary last night.

“Otherwise, relapses will be inevitable, and would-be offenders will be incentivised to do the same,” the newspaper warned.

The Chinese Securities Association of Hong Kong also rejected the apology and demanded the economist be sacked by UBS.

State-run news platform Global Times reported that the economist used “distasteful and racist language” to analyse China’s inflation.

Read more: UBS shareholders revolt over €4.5bn French tax fraud fine


Last year, Italian luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana also got into hot water over Chinese culture.

The fashion house caused an uproar after one of its advertisements showed a model of East Asian ancestry struggling to eat pizza with chopsticks.

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