A Chinese detergent maker has apologized to black people hurt by the spread of an ad in which a black man "washed" by its product was transformed into a fair-skinned Asian man.

Shanghai Leishang Cosmetics Ltd. Co. has halted the ad, which aired first in social media. The company said in a late Saturday statement that it strongly shuns and condemns racial discrimination.

It expresses regret over a controversy it says was amplified by the media.

The ad for Qiaobi laundry detergent drops shows a black man entering a room and attempting to flirt with an Asian woman. She feeds him a detergent drop and stuffs his body into a top-loading washer. When the cycle completes, a fair-skinned Asian man appears to the delight of the woman.