Gap apologises for selling T-shirt with ‘incorrect’ map of China

US clothes firm sold garment omitting areas of Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea from map printed on the front

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 May, 2018, 10:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 May, 2018, 1:08am

US clothing retailer Gap Inc has apologised for selling a T-shirt which it said had an incorrect map of China because it was missing areas of Tibet and Taiwan.

The apology came after a person posted pictures of the T-shirt on Chinese social media network Weibo, saying that Chinese territories, including south Tibet, the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea, were omitted from the map. 

The user said the photo of the T-shirt was taken at an outlet in Canada.

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“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 apologise for this unintentional error,” it said in a statement posted on its Chinese social media account on Monday.

The company said it would now implement “rigorous reviews” to prevent a repeat of the mistake.

It added that the products had been pulled from the Chinese market and destroyed.

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Gap’s apology comes as China has been ramping up efforts to police language used to describe Chinese-claimed territories such as Taiwan. 

Other US companies which have issued apologies for similar incidents include Delta Air Lines and the hotel chain Marriott International.

The White House earlier this month 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”.