According to social media site Weibo, the map printed on the Gap T-shirt, which is currently being sold in Canada, did not show the Chinese claimed territories, forcing the retail giant to apologize.
Gap said in a statement it "sincerely apologized for this unintentional error" and has subsequently pulled the t-shirt from the Chinese market and destroyed it.
Gap’s response on it’s Weibo account: “Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China. We've learned that a Gap brand T-shirt sold in some overseas markets failed to reflect the correct map of China. We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error”— Ian Burns McCaslin (@IBMcCaslin) May 15, 2018
American clothing retailer @Gap on Monday apologized for printing incomplete Chinese map on T-shirts for sales outside #China, said the brand respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity pic.twitter.com/GbmtontaMY— 新生 (@tonyzhang79) May 15, 2018
In January 2018, China shut down the websites of hotel chain Marriott International after the company listed Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as individual nations on an online customer survey.
'Travel news' Marriott forced to issue apology after China error — Marriott International has been forced to issue a grovelling apology to authorities in China after the hotel giant incorrectly labelled Tibet and Taiwan as independent countries in a s… https://t.co/XX6S8zruHa— Tracommy (@ta_community) January 11, 2018
Marriott and Gap aren't alone in causing offence to China, Delta Air Lines recently issued a public apology for what it described as a "grave mistake" after listing Taiwan and Tibet as independent countries on its website.
"On Friday, Delta Air Lines had to issue its own apology after the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) demanded an “immediate and public” apology for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website." https://t.co/dgKCgfWHTf #martech #local #business— MarTechExec (@MarTechExec) January 13, 2018
International fashion brand Zara was also ordered by the internet regulator in Shanghai to update its website after listing Taiwan as a country, medical equipment maker Medtronic was also ordered to publicly apologise on its website for making the same mistake.
Fast Fashion: Zara Apologizes for Listing Taiwan As Country — The Shanghai office of the Cyberspace Administration of China reprimanded Spanish fast fashion retai https://t.co/VJcxfnvEv4— smamodule (@smamodule) January 12, 2018
Gu Jianguang, director of the Public Policy Research Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University said in newspaper South China Morning Post, "it is a big lesson for foreign business to be politically correct when doing business in China."
Taiwan is an island off the south coast of China, governed independently from mainland China since 1949. The People's Republic of China considers Taiwan a province, while the international community adheres to the "One China" policy, despite several states maintaining contacts with Taipei.
However the island's leader Tsai Ingwen, the head of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) refuses to discuss the 1992 Consensus which states that there is only "one China."
The People's Republic of China claims Tibet is part of China. The Tibetan government-in-exile consider Tibet an independent state under unlawful occupation.