Gap Irks China With Map on Shirt, Quickly Apologizes

Gap T Shirt with map of China

USA 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. We were told that the design of a map of China for Gap T-shirts in some overseas markets had an error.

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

"We are truly sorry about this unintentional mistake", Gap said, promising to carry out "more rigorous reviews" in the future.

The Gap also announced in an email that it had removed all of the offending products and had them destroyed, according to CBS News. Company representatives at Gap's Shanghai office could not immediately be reached for comment.

The company is the latest to publicly express its remorse after being hit with an online backlash from China's often nationalist keyboard warriors.

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

"Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China".

This year, China has cracked down on global companies to reinforce the "One China" policy., Marriott, Zara, and Mercedes-Benz are among the other companies that have apologized after similar slip-ups.

Last month, China's aviation authority warned worldwide carriers to amend their websites to reflect China's sovereignty claims over Taiwan, and to reflect accurately the status of Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories, or face severe disruptions to their operations in the world's second-busiest aviation market. Following a letter to several US 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".

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