China cracks down on foreign companies calling Taiwan, other regions countries

Lucy Hill
January 14, 2018

Marriott is in trouble again, this time, the South China Morning Post says, because one of its corporate Twitter accounts "liked" and shared a post congratulating the hotel group over listing Tibet and Hong Kong as independent countries.

Chinese authorities have ordered three more multinational enterprises, namely Zara, Medtronic and Delta Air Lines, to stop listing Chinese territories as independent countries following yesterday's incident involving global hotel chain Marriott.

The cyberspace administration and market supervision bureau of Huangpu district in Shanghai said they had conducted interviews with the companys representatives in China and ordered all related content to be removed from its website and mobile app.

"We don't support anyone who subverts the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China and we do not intend in any way to encourage or incite any such people or groups", Mr Sorenson said.

On the Chinese version of Delta's official website, it listed Chinese territories, including Tibet and Taiwan, as "countries" in a drop-down menu.

Websites of major corporations such as Zara and Delta Air Lines listing Taiwan as a separate country were being targeted by authorities and netizens in China, reports said Friday.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from the mainland after a 1949 civil war, but Beijing continues to claim sovereignty over the island. "This is the minimum requirement of any company going to another country to carry out business and investment", he said.

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Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,100 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 124 countries and territories.

The company's Chinese language website and app has been taken offline for a week as changes are made.

The original post, by Weibo user Zhongjusaodi, had called the survey "disgusting" and questioned the intelligence of Marriott's Greater China employees. "We apologize deeply for hurting the feelings of Chinese people".

Tibet is home to a large Buddhist population and considered by Beijing to be an autonomous region within China, but its spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, fled to India after a popular uprising in 1959 and established a government-in-exile in Dharamsala. "We recognize the severity of the situation and sincerely apologize", Sorenson said in a statement.

It also promised to work with Chinese authorities on their investigation.

Hong Kong and Macau are both special administrative regions of China.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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