Gap apologises to China for 'incorrect' map on T-shirt

Gap T Shirt with map of China

Gap T Shirt with map of China

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

Taiwan's foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday it was asking Air Canada for a "speedy correction" following the airline's decision to list Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, as a part of China on its booking website.

According to the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, a photo posted on Chinese social media and taken at a store in Canada showed that self-governed Taiwan, which China considers to be a renegade province, was omitted from the map on the T-shirts. The fashion retailer has also pulled the product off its shelves in China and destroyed the shirts, a statement on its Weibo read.

Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial issue.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from the mainland after a 1949 civil war, maintaining its own government, military and independent foreign policy.

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The offending shirt portrayed a map of China that didn't adhere to Beijing's territorial claims. 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. China doesn't use Western platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, but Chinese facsimiles, including Weibo, can generate a backlash, especially if that response aligns with an official government position.

Worldwide fashion brand Zara was also ordered by the internet regulator in Shanghai to update its website after listing Taiwan as a country, medical equipment maker Medtronic was also ordered to publicly apologise on its website for making the same mistake.

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. Marriott issued an apology, saying it respects and supports China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

What do you think of the Gap's apology, PR Daily readers?

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