Gap apologises to China for 'incorrect' map on T-shirt

Blanche Robertson
May 16, 2018

Air Canada could face a boycott from Taiwanese travellers after the airline joined a growing list of air carriers that have bowed to Chinese pressure by listing the capital of Taiwan as a part of China on its booking website, the president of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce B.C. said Tuesday.

Despite the apology, Business Insider found Gap's controversial T-shirt was still on sale on Monday evening.

On Monday (May 14), a Chinese user of the social media platform Weibo (China's equivalent to Twitter) at 8:25 a.m. posted an image of a Gap T-shirt taken at an outlet store in Canada showing a map of China with Taiwan not included.

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

China dismissed that criticism, saying companies operating in the country must respect its sovereignty.

According to the BBC, US clothing brand Gap has apologies after selling T-shirts that showed an "incorrect map" of China. "We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error", Gap said in a statement, according to China's Global Times newspaper.

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It argued that the tariff talk is already hurting job growth. "It's really divorced from the trade story", Kudlow said. Senate Democrats also criticized the president for appearing to give in to Chinese pressure on the ZTE sanctions.

It said the shirts had already been pulled from Chinese shelves and destroyed.

The company said they would be undertaking "rigorous reviews" to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

This is not the first time USA companies have been urged by Chinese internet users or China's government to change products or advertising materials to appease the "one China policy". China frequently seeks to assert its claim to Taiwan on the global stage.

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. Following a letter to several USA airlines demanding they change the way they refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in promotional materials, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement calling the demand "Orwellian nonsense".

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

Representatives of Japan Airlines 9201.T , All Nippon Airways, Australia's Qantas Airways and Korean Air Lines 003490.KS said recently they all received a letter from China requesting changes to their sites' references to Taiwan.

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