Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Gap pulls shirt with incorrect map of China from stores, issues apology

American clothing retailer Gap apologized for printing incomplete Chinese map on T-shirts for sales outside China American clothing retailer Gap apologized for printing incomplete Chinese map on T-shirts for sales outside China
Nellie Chapman | 15 May, 2018, 17:47

In a rare statement issued by the White House May 5, the USA government slammed China's demand as "Orwellian nonsense" and said it deemed the request "Chinese political correctness".

On Monday (May 14), a Chinese user of the social media platform Weibo (China's equivalent to Twitter) at 8:25 a.m. posted an image of a Gap T-shirt taken at an outlet store in Canada showing a map of China with Taiwan not included.

Gap is the latest in a string of foreign firms to face a backlash for not adhering to China's territorial claims.

Last month, China's aviation authority warned worldwide carriers to amend their websites to reflect China's sovereignty claims over Taiwan, and to reflect accurately the status of Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories, or face severe disruptions to their operations in the world's second-busiest aviation market.

The post on Weibo said the T-shirt, which was being sold in Canada, did not show Chinese-claimed territories including Taiwan, islands in the South China Sea and south Tibet.

Gap quickly apologized, even though it appears the T-shirt is not for sale in China. "We sincerely apologise for this unintentional error".

In a statement the company said, "Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China".

The Global Times quoted Gap as saying that the T-shirt had not been released in China.

T-shirt with map of China.

The White House hit back at the push earlier this month, calling the demands placed on airlines "Orwellian nonsense". Last year, the company opened its largest China store in Shanghai.

The name change came in the wake of letters sent by China's Civil Aviation Administration in late April, pressuring 36 American and worldwide airlines to remove references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries on their websites and marketing materials. "China's efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted".

"We have removed the product from the Chinese market and destroyed them all".

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.

Marriott International, Indetix SA-owned ZARA and Delta Air Lines Inc all also issued apologies for listing Tibet and Taiwan as nations on their websites earlier this year.