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Taiwan

Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue apologises after his clothing brand website lists Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate countries

Online uproar followed screenshot of website being posted on Communist Youth League’s official Weibo account

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 February, 2018, 2:44pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 February, 2018, 4:46pm

Hong Kong actor and entrepreneur Shawn Yue has apologised for the “big mistake” his streetwear brand made by listing Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries on its website, after mainland netizens castigated him for not respecting China’s sovereignty.

A page on Yue’s website Madness originally stated clothing could be “shipped internationally to most … countries” with China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau included in the list.

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A screenshot of the page was posted on the Communist Youth League’s official account on Weibo, China’s popular Twitter-like microblogging platform, and caused an online uproar.

Yue took to Weibo on Thursday night to apologise, saying: “As the owner of Madness, I am so sorry for such a big mistake and [causing] misunderstanding. I will take responsibility for failing to monitor the company well. We will conduct a comprehensive review and will not allow such mistakes to happen again.”

Yue’s post came after the company quickly changed the word “countries” to “areas” and issued an official apology.

But some netizens were still unsatisfied.

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Among more than 10,000 comments left on Yue’s apology post, some urged him to state clearly that Taiwan and Hong Kong are both inalienable parts of China. Others said the mistake was “too large to tolerate”.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, but Beijing continues to claim sovereignty over the island.

Last month, mainland authorities rebuked Delta Air Lines, fashion brand Zara, medical device maker Medtronic and hotel giant Marriott on separate occasions for listing Hong Kong and other Chinese-claimed territories – Tibet, Taiwan and Macau – as separate countries.