The commercial starts with a bride and groom at the altar reciting their vows, before being interrupted by the groom’s mother.
She then roughly inspects the bride’s nose, ears and mouth, the guests looking on in horror, before gesturing that everything is “OK”.
Suddenly the mother looks at the bride’s chest while the woman gasps.
The video then cuts to footage of an Audi car driving, while a voiceover tells viewers that “an important decision must be made carefully”.
0:00 Watch the entire commercial Share Watch the entire commercial
According to the South China Morning Post, the video sparked backlash on Chinese social media, with many calling it sexist and urging the company to apologise.
Some even threatened to stop buying Audi cars.
CNN said Chinese social media site Weibo saw more than 300,000 views of the hashtag “Audi secondhand car ad” by midday on Wednesday.
One user from the city of Guangzhou speculated over the gender of the video’s producers.
“From the inception of this idea to its broadcasting, was there a single woman who worked on this commercial?” the person said.
A spokesman for Audi told the South China Morning Post that the company’s marketing in China was handled by its local joint venture partner, and that an investigation was being conducted.
It’s not the first time a company had been criticised for its marketing decisions in China.
Last year, a local firm apologised after launching a commercial for detergent which showed a black man being put into a washing machine, emerging as a light-skinned Asian man.
In 2012, Snickers also suffered repercussions when it released an ad featuring a tired woman on a bike transforming into an energetic man after eating one of the chocolate bars.