Gap in hot water with China over T-shift snafu

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The company, through a prepared statement posted on Weibo, said that it respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of China and learned that a T-shirt in its Gap brand sold in some markets overseas did not reflect a map of China that was correct in design.

According to social media site Weibo, the map printed on the Gap T-shirt, which is now being sold in Canada, did not show the Chinese claimed territories, forcing the retail giant to apologize.

Hundreds of people complained on Gap's official account on China's Weibo microblogging website, the daily said.

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 company took action after photos began circulating on Chinese social media of a T-shirt showing a map that didn't include Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing regards as Chinese territory. "The related products were pulled off the shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed earlier".

The company said it strictly abides by Chinese law and will devote itself to greater scrutiny to avoid similar errors in the future.

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The photos were taken at a Gap shop in Canada's Niagara region, China's state-owned Global Times said.

"We have noticed this (Gap) statement and we will pay close attention to it", Lu said.

Delta Air Lines based in the US and Zara the European based clothing retailer were on the hot seat as well over issues of a similar nature on their e-commerce sites in China.

In January 2018, China shut down the websites of hotel chain Marriott International after the company listed Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as individual nations on an online customer survey.

The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration had sent a notice to 36 foreign airlines, including a number of USA carriers, on April 25, asking them to comply with Beijing's standards, according to the White House. Users pointed out that a map printed on the shirt omitted territories claimed by China, including parts of southern Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

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