nsucurrent.com
nsucurrent.com May 20, 2018


American clothing brand Gap 'terribly sorry' over China map shirt omitting Taiwan

15 May 2018, 10:30 | Ruby West

Gap sorry for selling T-shirt with 'incorrect' map of China

China calls democratic Taiwan one of its provinces despite nearly seven decades of separate governance. The island was omitted from Gap's latest T-shirt design

U.S. hotel chain Marriott, Spanish clothing giant Zara and a slew of airlines have faced China's wrath for not classifying Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

China has long held disputes with the West over territories, such as Taiwan, that it claims to own but which Western governments do not recognize as Chinese possessions or protectorates.

A photo of a gray T-shirt featuring the word "China" alongside a silhouette of a map of mainland China-which was notably missing several China-claimed territories-went viral on the Weibo social network, prompting outrage for being "incomplete".

The US company issued its apology on Weibo late Monday, saying it "respects the integrity of China's sovereignty and territory".

But this isn't the first time an worldwide company has found itself in hot water over China territorial issues. "The related products were pulled off the shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed earlier".




Keeping track of China's territorial claims can be tricky, especially for brands in the USA, where the federal government disagrees with China over its purported reach.

China, which considers Taiwan a rebel province awaiting reunification, has taken airlines, hotels and other companies to task in recent months for listing the island as a separate country on their websites. The area China calls Southern Tibet is a disputed region on the country's border with India, where China claims about 90,000 square kilometres in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Global Times newspaper said that "hundreds of Weibo users (were) protesting the company's act of disrespect to China's territorial sovereignty". All three companies have since apologized.

In January, Chinese authorities blocked Marriott's websites and apps for nearly a week after the company listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate countries in emails and applications.

Delta Air Lines based in the USA and Zara the European based clothing retailer were on the hot seat as well over issues of a similar nature on their e-commerce sites in China.



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