Gap apologizes for T-shirt with 'erroneous' map of China

14:43 (GMT+2) Wed, 16 May 2018

Beijing (dpa) - The US retailer Gap is the latest company to apologize to China for diverting from Beijing's official view of Chinese territories.

The company issued an apology on the Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo for a T-shirt with a map of China that omitted disputed territories such as the self-governing island of Taiwan, south Tibet and the South China Sea.

"The Gap Group respects China's sovereignty and territorialintegrity. We were informed that the design of the Chinese map on aGap T-shirt sold in individual overseas markets was erroneous," Gapsaid in a statement late Monday.

The company said it was "extremely sorry" and that the T-shirts havebeen removed from the Chinese market and destroyed.

Several other Western companies have come under pressure in recent months for not aligning themselves with Beijing's worldview.

European retailer Zara, airline operator Delta and medical equipment provider Medtronic earlier this year were asked by the Chinese government to remove the mention of Taiwan as a separate country from their websites.

And Mercedes-Benz in February apologized for posting on social mediaa quote from the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader whom Beijing sees asa separatist threat.

The White House this month criticized China for pressuring foreign airlines to change the way they referred to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on their websites as "Orwellian nonsense."