Gap pulls shirt with incorrect map of China from stores, issues apology

Gap pulls shirt with incorrect map of China from stores, issues apology

"We were informed the design of a Chinese map on a Gap T-shirt sold in some overseas markets was incorrect", Gap said Tuesday in a statement posted to an official Chinese social media account.

China, which considers Taiwan a rebel province awaiting reunification, has taken airlines, hotels and other companies to task in recent months for listing the island as a separate country on their websites. It also failed to show what China calls "Southern Tibet" - a huge swathe of territory it claims in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh - and failed to draw a line around China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

The company also said all the shirts in China have been recalled and destroyed.

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

The Global Times newspaper said that "hundreds of Weibo users (were) protesting the company's act of disrespect to China's territorial sovereignty". "We are doing internal checks to correct the mistake as soon as possible", Gap said.

More news: Partly Sunny Today, PM T-Storms

In a rare statement issued by the White House May 5, the US government slammed China's demand as "Orwellian nonsense" and said it deemed the request "Chinese political correctness".

Gap promised to carry out "more rigorous reviews" to prevent similar incidents and said it respected China's "sovereignty and territorial integrity" and strictly followed the country's laws and rules.

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

The U.S. has started pushing back against Beijing, with the White House condemning China's efforts to control how U.S. airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as "Orwellian nonsense". On April 25, it sent dozens of global airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don't change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China - a move that provoked a strong pushback from the White House.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from the mainland after a 1949 civil war, maintaining its own government, military and independent foreign policy.

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