Gap apologises for 'incorrect' Chinese map on T-shirts

USA hotel chain Marriott, Spanish clothing giant Zara and a slew of airlines have faced China's wrath for not classifying Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

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.

Specifically, Taiwan, "Southern Tibet", and the South China Sea were omitted from the map.

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"Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China", Gap said on its Weibo account. "ORCRP006320-topic.html" class="local_link" >Gap is the latest company to apologize to China for failing to reflect Beijing's territorial claims - on a map shown on a T-shirt for sale in North America. "The related products were pulled off the shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed earlier".

[FREE DOWNLOAD: Keep your cool in a crisis with these 13 tips.]While Taiwan is self-governed, only a minority of countries recognize its sovereignty as a nation independent of China.

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

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United States retailer Gap Inc has been forced to apologise for selling a T-shirt which it said had an incorrect map of China, adding it would implement "rigorous reviews" to prevent a repeat mistake. The shirt could not be found on Gap websites and it wasn't clear whether it was still being sold in shops in some countries. "We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error", Gap said in a statement, according to China's Global Times newspaper.

A series of other big Western brands have apologized over missteps on Chinese territorial issues.

USA airline Delta (DAL) and European clothing retailer Zara also came under fire over similar issues on their websites in China. Each of the companies has subsequently apologized.

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The U.S. has started pushing back against Beijing, with the White House condemning China's efforts to control how U.S. airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as "Orwellian nonsense".

  • Kelly Blake