Gap apologizes for China map T-shirt after backlash

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Gap said the T-shirt - omitting Taiwan, Tibet and islands in the South China Sea - had been pulled from the Chinese market and were destroyed.

As the New York Times points out, companies like Delta Air Lines, Marriott, and Zara have also been called out for failing to recognized Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as sovereign to China, instead referring to them as separate countries.

The Gap shirt, which was sold in overseas markets, features a map of China, but Taiwan does not appear to the southeast of the country, according to a photo of the company's online store posted on the Twitter account of the official People's Daily newspaper.

Gap has indeed had to make a full apology to the People's Republic of China after producing and selling a t-shirt with a map of China on it that just so happened to leave off Taiwan and a portion of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh that China claims as 'Southern Tibet'. As stated by the user, the photograph of the T-shirt was taken at an outlet store in Canada.

But this isn't the first time an global company has found itself in hot water over China territorial issues. Beijing considers the self-ruled, democratic island a wayward province.

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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. 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.

"We are truly sorry about this unintentional mistake", the company said.

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.

On April 25, it sent dozens of global airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don't change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China - a move that provoked a strong pushback from the White House.

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