Gap Apologises For Flogging Shirts With Map Of China Bereft Of Taiwan

Gap 'terribly sorry' over T-shirt China map without Taiwan

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

In its Weibo apology, Gap Inc said that it respects China's sovereignty and territory and confirmed that a t-shirt sold in overseas markets had contained an incorrect version of a map of China. The fashion retailer has also pulled the product off its shelves in China and destroyed the shirts, a statement on its Weibo read. "We are committed to more rigorous reviews in the future to avoid similar incidents again".

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

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.

Gap's apology comes as China has been ramping up efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan.

Gap is not the first worldwide brand to bruise China's long fingers and tender toes, but it has apologized just the same.

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Beijing considers Taiwan, which is self-governed, an integral part of China and becomes highly upset when anything to the contrary is suggested.

Taiwan's foreign ministry said in a statement it was "deeply concerned" about Air Canada's move to refer to Taiwan as part of China on the booking website.

Chinese authorities in January blocked Marriott's (MAR) websites and apps for a week after the company listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate countries in emails and apps.

Delta Air Lines based in the USA 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.

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

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