USA retailer Gap apologises for 'erroneous' China map printed on a T-shirt

  • USA retailer Gap apologises for 'erroneous' China map printed on a T-shirt

USA retailer Gap apologises for 'erroneous' China map printed on a T-shirt

U.S. retail giant, Gap has issued an apology after selling a T-shirt displaying the wrong map of China after the design omitted Chinese-claimed territories including islands in the South China Sea, Taiwan and south Tibet.

The Gap map also did not reflect Chinese claims to territory in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China refers to as "Southern Tibet", or show its claims in the South China Sea, which overlap with those of several other countries in the region.

Gap immediately responded to the criticism on the site saying it "respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and that it had just learned that one of its T-shirts in some overseas markets failed to reflect the "correct" map of China.

According to social media site Weibo, the map printed on the Gap T-shirt, which is now being sold in Canada, did not show the Chinese claimed territories, forcing the retail giant to apologize.

"We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error", it added. Taiwanese media had angry articles accusing the Gap of "kowtowing" to China, while the English-language Global Times adopted an approving tone of the decision to apologies. "We are doing internal checks to correct the mistake as soon as possible", Gap said.

U.S. hotel chain Marriott, Spanish clothing giant Zara and a slew of airlines have faced China's wrath for not classifying Taiwan as part of China on their websites.

China has engaged in a campaign this year to force global companies to toe the line when it comes to Taiwan and its "One China" policy.

The company didn't say whether the product would be withdrawn from sale in other markets.

Earlier this month, the White House sharply criticised China's efforts to force foreign airlines to change how they described Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on their websites as "Orwellian nonsense". Both companies subsequently apologized.

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

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