Apple’s new Mac OS X Yosemite operating system will offer emoji faces in six skin tones in a push for added diversity—including yellow-toned ones that the company intended to be ethnically neutral. But in China, a region Apple has declared one of its most important markets, iPhone and potential iPhone users were not impressed.
Images of the new emoji lineup, which included a range of national flags as well as faces, circulated on China’s largest microblog, Weibo. Some bloggers praised the new selection, especially since previous Apple emoji depicting humans had only come in a single shade: white. But more users found the yellow toned emoji mildly offensive (there is a long racist history of using “yellow” to describe Asians) or just inaccurate.
Twitter users from elsewhere were equally dismissive: