American clothing brand Gap 'terribly sorry' over China map shirt omitting Taiwan

China calls democratic Taiwan one of its provinces despite nearly seven decades of separate governance. The island was omitted from Gap's latest T-shirt design

China calls democratic Taiwan one of its provinces despite nearly seven decades of separate governance. The island was omitted from Gap's latest T-shirt design

United States clothing retailer Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts with what it says was an "erroneous" map of China that did not include territories claimed by China, following a burst of outrage on Chinese social media.

The U.S. clothing retailer Gap apologized Tuesday for selling T-shirts with what it says is an incorrect map of China that didn't include self-ruled Taiwan, in the latest example of corporate kowtowing to Beijing.

"Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China", Gap said on its Weibo account. The company said the product has been pulled from the Chinese market and destroyed. It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake".

The White House in early May called Chinese demands, that over 30 worldwide airlines including a few in the US, remove from their websites any data that might suggest that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were not part of China, as being Orwellian nonsense.

"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. "China's internal Internet repression is world-famous".

In January,

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.

The Global Times newspaper said that "hundreds of Weibo users (were) protesting the company's act of disrespect to China's territorial sovereignty".

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. But Gap's China headquarters in Shanghai said the T-shirt had not been released in China. Other T-shirts in the range show San Francisco, Paris, Japan and Canada but are decorated with national flags rather than maps.

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