Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Why Gap Is Apologizing to Customers This Time

Gap T Shirt with map of China GAP 'extremely sorry' for China map T-shirt which omits Taiwan and the South China Sea
Ginger Lawrence | 15 May, 2018, 22:28

Gap made an apology for one of its shirts featuring a map of China that upset China's internet users.

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.

An apology was issued by Marriott saying that it respected and supported the sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of China.

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

"As a responsible company, Gap Inc. strictly follows Chinese laws and rules", Gap said in the statement sent to the paper, adding that the company is committed to more rigorous reviews in the future to avoid similar incidents again. The map also appeared to leave out southern Tibet and the disputed South China Sea, the state-owned Global Times said, adding that it drew hundreds of complaints on China's Weibo microblogging platform.

United States clothing retailer Gap has apologised to China over a T-shirt with a map showing the mainland but omitting Taiwan, becoming the latest foreign firm to run afoul of Beijing's policy on the self-ruling island.

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The photo of the Gap tee was snapped inside a store in Canada, and The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, tweeted a photo with the "correct" version of the map. 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 are truly sorry about this unintentional mistake", the company said.

Other companies have felt compelled to apologize to the massive nation.

Several other large Western brands apologized for errors related to territorial issues in China.

In January, Australia's Qantas Airways changed its website classification of Taiwan and Hong Kong from separate countries to Chinese territories, blaming its earlier approach on an "oversight".

Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott and fashion brand Zara are among businesses that have apologized to China for referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as countries on websites or promotional material.