Oops; Gap apologizes for T-shirt's wrong China map
15 May, 2018, 22:28 | Author: Brooke Harris
The U.S. clothing retailer Gap apologized Tuesday for selling T-shirts with what it says is an incorrect map of China that didn't include self-ruled Taiwan, in the latest example of corporate kowtowing to Beijing.
Gap's apology comes as China has been ramping up efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan.
Photographs of a T-shirt that the clothes brand had apparently sold in Canada were circulating on China's Internet, with many online comments saying that southern Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea were missing.
In a statement the company said, "Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China".
The clothing brand, based in the US, is the most recent worldwide business to be in trouble with the government of China over that country's territorial issues.
U.S. retail giant, Gap has issued an apology after selling a T-shirt displaying the wrong map of China after the design omitted Chinese-claimed territories including islands in the South China Sea, Taiwan and south Tibet.
While Taiwan is self-governed, only a minority of countries recognize its sovereignty as a nation independent of China. It was unclear if the shirts in all of Gap's markets worldwide would also be destroyed. It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake".
Several other large Western brands apologized for errors related to territorial issues in China.
Chinese authorities in January blocked Marriott's (MAR) websites and apps for a week after the company listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate countries in emails and apps. On April 25, it sent dozens of worldwide airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don't change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China - a move that provoked a strong pushback from the White House.
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.
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