Why Gap Is Apologizing to Customers This Time

China calls democratic Taiwan one of its provinces despite nearly seven decades of separate governance. The island was omitted from Gap's latest T-shirt design

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.

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'.

"Upon the realization that one of our T-shirts sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China, we urgently launched an internal investigation across the group and have chose to immediately pull back this T-shirt from all the concerned global markets", the company said in a statement, adding that the shirts had already been pulled from Chinese shelves and destroyed.

Hundreds of complaints flooded Weibo after an image of the T-shirt went viral.


The US company issued its apology on Weibo late Monday, saying it "respects the integrity of China's sovereignty and territory". "We are doing internal checks to correct the mistake as soon as possible", Gap said. "The related products were pulled off the shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed earlier". The company also said it "sincerely apologised for this unintentional error".

The photos were taken at a Gap shop in Canada's Niagara region, Global Times said.

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

The White House in early May called Chinese demands, that over 30 worldwide airlines including a few in the US, remove from their websites any data that might suggest that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were not part of China, as being Orwellian nonsense. In January, websites as well as apps for Marriott were blocked for more than week after the hospitality company listed Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Tibet as individual countries in both emails as well as apps.

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