(Yicai Global) May 16 -- US clothing retailer Gap Inc. has apologized after selling T-shirts with the wrong map of China, marking the latest in a series of faux pas made by international firms operating in China.
The design left out a large area of Chinese territories including Southern Tibet, Aksai Chin, Taiwan, and the South China Sea, said a user on Chinese social media, who also complained that Gap had changed the shape of the northern Bohai rim area.
The San Francisco-based retailer was quick to issue an mea culpa on its official Weibo account, saying that it respects China’s sovereignty. Gap has pulled the offending garments from its shelves in China, and they have been destroyed.
“We were informed that the design of the Chinese map on one of our T-shirts sold in some overseas markets was incorrect and we are extremely sorry for this unintentional error,” the firm said.
Several foreign firms have run afoul of the Chinese government this year for making mistakes about the country’s territory and cultural sensitivities leading to hasty apologies. US firms Marriot International Inc. and Delta Air Line Inc. found themselves in hot water at the start of the year for listing Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet as separate countries, while German auto giant Daimler AG was rapped in February for quoting the Dalai Lama on social media.
Gap opened its first China store in 2010 and now operates a network of more than 300 locations across Asia. The firm has already established itself as a veteran in Chinese e-commerce having setting up a localized sales site back in 2010.
Editor: William Clegg