The Korean Embassy in Beijing has lodged a strong protest against a Chinese online shopping mall that posted an ad featuring President Park Geun-hye without obtaining any prior permission to use her photos.
According to the embassy on Sunday, Chinese cosmetics maker IMAX used Park's image to advertise its eye cream on China's largest online shopping site.
It claimed its eye cream is effective for treating wrinkles and went on to claim that the Korean president herself uses the product, which is made in Korea.
But the Korean Embassy said the product is neither manufactured nor exported by Korea and demanded that the photo be removed. The Embassy also said Park does not use the product.
A diplomatic source in Beijing said, "Chinese think President Park Geun-hye looks younger than her age (62)." The source added that Park is known to many Chinese as Korea's first female president and her autobiography has also sold well there.
It is not uncommon for photos of celebrities to be used in Chinese ads without their consent, but it is rare to see images of foreign leaders.