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Gap guilty of China gaffe

Gap guilty of China gaffe

American clothing retailer The Gap apologized on Monday for printing T-shirts with a map of China which did not include Taiwan, after Chinese netizens complained on Weibo.

China dismissed that criticism, saying companies operating in the country must respect its sovereignty.

On Monday, May 14, 2018, USA retailer Gap Inc. has apologized to China for selling t-shirts that has a wrong map of the country.

"We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error", said the company, which issued the statement through its public relations firm APCO after making a similar apology late Monday on its Weibo account.

China has been ramping-up efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan. The rhetoric has become more intense since the election of independence-leaning president Tsai Ing-wen.

Gap also said it is committed to more rigorous reviews in the future to avoid similar incidents again.

The photos were taken at a Gap shop in Canada's Niagara region, China's state-owned Global Times said.

Gap is the latest company to run afoul of China's sensitivity over its contested territories, after Marriott and Zara were forced to issue apologies earlier this year. China has been pressuring airlines around the world, including US carriers, to refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as part of China.

On the design, territories that China claims to be theirs were omitted.

"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", it said in a statement.

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.

In January, Marriott International apologized profusely to China after sending a letter to rewards club members that listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as options on a question asking customers their countries of residence.

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.

"This batch of products had been pulled off shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed".

Mercedes-Benz said sorry for quoting the Dalai Lama on social media.

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