Gap pulls shirt with incorrect map of China from stores, issues apology

Gap pulls shirt with incorrect map of China from stores, issues apology

Gap pulls shirt with incorrect map of China from stores, issues apology

In January 2018, China shut down the websites of hotel chain Marriott International after the company listed Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as individual nations on an online customer survey.

The apology came after a person posted pictures of the T-shirt on Chinese social media network Weibo, saying that Chinese-claimed territories, including south Tibet, the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea were indeed omitted. It also added that it would implement more rigorous reviews to ensure the same thing would not happen again.

United States clothing retailer Gap has apologised to China over a T-shirt with a map showing the mainland but omitting Taiwan, becoming the latest foreign firm to run afoul of Beijing's policy on the self-ruling island.

The company, through a prepared statement posted on Weibo, said that it respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of China and learned that a T-shirt in its Gap brand sold in some markets overseas did not reflect a map of China that was correct in design.

The clothing brand, based in the USA, is the most recent global business to be in trouble with the government of China over that country's territorial issues.

The user said the photo of the T-shirt was taken at an outlet store in Canada.

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China has been ramping-up efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan. It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake".

The White House in early May called Chinese demands, that over 30 global airlines including a few in the USA, remove from their websites any data that might suggest that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were not part of China, as being Orwellian nonsense.

"This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies", the White House said in a statement.

Fashion brand Zara and Delta Air Lines drew Beijing's ire and apologized for listing Taiwan and/or Tibet as countries on drop-down menus on their websites.

Taiwan's foreign ministry said it was "deeply concerned" about Air Canada's move to refer to Taiwan as part of China in its materials.

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