Gap Apologizes for Selling T-shirt with 'Incorrect' Map of China

Anna Jefferson
May 15, 2018

The company said the product has been pulled from the Chinese market and destroyed. "We are committed to more rigorous reviews in the future to avoid similar incidents again".

"Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China", Gap said on its Weibo account.

Gap Inc. issued an apology Tuesday after upsetting internet users in China for printing a map of their country on one of its T-shirts that didn't include Taiwan.

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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 apology came after a person posted pictures of the T-shirt on Chinese social media network Weibo, saying that Chinese-claimed territories, including south Tibet, the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea were indeed omitted. The photo of the Gap tee was snapped inside a store in Canada, and The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, tweeted a photo with the "correct" version of the map. We've learned a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China. China claims sovereignty as well to a large area within the South China Sea that includes areas other countries claim as theirs such as the Philippines and Vietnam.

The name change came in the wake of letters sent by China's Civil Aviation Administration in late April, pressuring 36 American and global airlines to remove references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries on their websites and marketing materials.

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Other than Marriott, the Chinese websites of US-based medical supplies company Medtronic and Spanish fashion brand Zara were found to have listed Taiwan as a "country" or as "Republic of China" and were ordered by the government to make corrections and apologise, state media Xinhua Agency has reported.

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.

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