Gap Apologizes for Selling T-shirt with 'Incorrect' Map of China

American clothing retailer Gap apologized for printing incomplete Chinese map on T-shirts for sales outside China

American clothing retailer Gap apologized for printing incomplete Chinese map on T-shirts for sales outside China

The map also appeared to leave out southern Tibet and the disputed South China Sea, the state-owned Global Times said, adding that it drew hundreds of complaints online.

In a rare statement issued by the White House May 5, the US government slammed China's demand as "Orwellian nonsense" and said it deemed the request "Chinese political correctness".

In a statement the company said, "Gap Inc. respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China".

The move followed after a netizen had posted pictures of the shirt on Chinese social media platform Weibo, which saw Chinese territories such as south Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea being omitted from the map. As stated by the user, the photograph of the T-shirt was taken at an outlet store in Canada.

"Upon the realization that one of our T-shirts sold in some overseas markets mistakenly failed to reflect the correct map of China, we urgently launched an internal investigation across the group and have made a decision to immediately pull back this T-shirt from all the concerned global markets", the company said in a statement.

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Despite the island claiming self-rule for more than a half century, the Chinese government considers Taiwan to be Chinese sovereign territory.

"We are truly sorry about this unintentional mistake", the company said.

The company said they would be undertaking "rigorous reviews" to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Other US companies that have issued apologies for similar incidents include Delta Air Lines and Marriott International.

The White House in early May called Chinese demands, that over 30 worldwide airlines including a few in the US, remove from their websites any data that might suggest that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan were not part of China, as being Orwellian nonsense.

Taiwan's foreign ministry has asked Air Canada for a "speedy correction" following the airline's decision to list Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, as a part of China on its booking website, according to a statement from the ministry on Tuesday. However, the island has been governed separately since 1949 and maintains formal diplomatic relations with a handful of countries.

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