Retailer Gap says 'sorry' for T-shirt's incorrect China map

Gap T Shirt with map of China

Gap has indeed had to make a full apology to the People's Republic of China after producing and selling a t-shirt with a map of China on it that just so happened to leave off Taiwan and a portion of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh that China claims as 'Southern Tibet'.

In a post on China's Weibo microblogging platform, the company said it discovered that some T-shirts it sold overseas "had an erroneous design of China's map".

Gap quickly apologized, even though it appears the T-shirt is not for sale in China. The company also said it "sincerely apologised for this unintentional error".

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.

Most recently, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration ordered a number of air carriers, including U.S. airlines, to identify Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese regions on their websites.

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The company is the latest to publicly express its remorse after being hit with an online backlash from China's often nationalist keyboard warriors. China has been pressuring airlines around the world, including USA carriers, to refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as part of China. "China's efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted", the statement said.

Fashion brand Zara and Delta Air Lines drew Beijing's ire and apologized for listing Taiwan and/or Tibet as countries on drop-down menus on their websites.

According to the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, a photo posted on Chinese social media and taken at a store in Canada showed that self-governed Taiwan, which China considers to be a renegade province, was omitted from the map on the T-shirts. Last year, German carmaker Audi was in hot water for omitting Taiwan and parts of western China on a map used at their annual meeting, while Mercedes-Benz apologized in February for quoting the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet, on Instagram.

Air Canada did not say whether it had received the letter from China.

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