Gap apologizes to China for 'incorrect map' on a T-shirt

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

I can't imagine that, as a graphic designer for U.S. clothing giant Gap, you would have ever anticipated that part of your job would require officially apologising to the nation of China thanks to an worldwide upset you caused with one of your shitty shirt designs.

United States fashion retailer Gap became the latest giant corporation to apologise to China for selling a T-shirt with an "incorrect" map that did not feature Taiwan and other territories it claims.

Gap said the T-shirt - omitting Taiwan, Tibet and islands in the South China Sea - had been pulled from the Chinese market and were destroyed.

United States clothing retailer Gap has apologised to China over a T-shirt with a map showing the mainland but omitting Taiwan, becoming the latest foreign firm to run afoul of Beijing's policy on the self-ruling island.

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

The apology was triggered by complaints from consumers reacting to pictures of a Gap-branded T-shirt posted on Chinese social media network Weibo.

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"This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies", it said in a statement. 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.

Other US companies which have issued apologies for similar incidents include Delta Air Lines and Marriott International Inc. Mercedes-Benz said sorry for quoting the Dalai Lama on social media.

China, however, has an ax to grind generally-and now specifically because of an image on a T-shirt.

The Global Times newspaper said that "hundreds of Weibo users (were) protesting the company's act of disrespect to China's territorial sovereignty".

It is available online on the Gap Factory U.S. website, as part of the "City T-shirt in Jersey" range.

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