Online content in China, especially content depicting LGBT people, is subject to heavy and often arbitrarily applied censorship.
In recent years, censors have muted discussions on social media, banned homosexuality in films and even prevented the sale of rainbow-themed items online.
But Cartier’s apparent caution has backfired.
“Ahahahahaha,” one Douban user wrote, “gay love has been turned into incest.”
“If they’re father and son, why are they buying matching rings?” another asked.
“So unnecessary!” commented one LGBT-focused Weibo account.
In a statement, Cartier said it had launched a movie in China with four independent stories depicting “romantic, friendship or family love”.
“Since its creation in 1924, the three rings of the Trinity series have always symbolized the intrinsic timelessness of close relationships between lovers, friends and family members,” the brand said.