Gap says sorry for T-shirts with "incorrect map" of China
Gap says sorry for T-shirts with "incorrect map" of China
American clothing retailer Gap apologized for printing incomplete Chinese map on T-shirts for sales outside China
15 May, 2018, 18:34
The move followed after a netizen had posted pictures of the shirt on Chinese social media platform Weibo, which saw Chinese territories such as south Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea being omitted from the map.
The offending T-shirt showed a map of China without including Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing says is an integral part of the country.
Gap is the latest in a string of foreign firms to face a backlash for not adhering to China's territorial claims. Gap opened its first store in mainland China in 2010 and now has 27 stores there, according to its website. That drew the ire of some Chinese Netizens after a photo of the T-shirt on sale in Niagara, Canada, was posted online.
"Upon the realization that one of our T-shirts sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China, we urgently launched an internal investigation across the group and have made a decision to immediately pull back this T-shirt from all the concerned global markets", the company said in a statement, adding that the shirts had already been pulled from Chinese shelves and destroyed.
The Global Times newspaper said that "hundreds of Weibo users (were) protesting the company's act of disrespect to China's territorial sovereignty". It also added that it would implement more rigorous reviews to ensure the same thing would not happen again.
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China has engaged in a campaign this year to force worldwide companies to toe the line when it comes to Taiwan and its "One China" policy. "The product has been withdrawn from the Chinese market and completely destroyed", it said.
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Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott, fashion brand Zara are among businesses that have apologized to China for referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as countries on websites or promotional material. Mercedes-Benz said sorry for quoting the Dalai Lama on social media.
In the statement sent to the Global Times, Gap said the T-shirt has been pulled off shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed.
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