United States clothing retailer Gap apologised late Monday for selling T-shirts with an "incorrect" map of China, after it became the latest among foreign companies that China has taken offence with in relation to its territorial claims. It was unclear if the shirts in all of Gap's markets worldwide would also be destroyed.
As the New York Times points out, companies like Delta Air Lines, Marriott, and Zara have also been called out for failing to recognized Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet as sovereign to China, instead referring to them as separate countries. "We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error".More news: Danish director's film leads to walkouts, outrage at Cannes
Gap is the latest of several companies that have apologized for perceived slights to China's sovereignty. "We are doing internal checks to correct the mistake as soon as possible", Gap said.
As an independent and sovereign nation, the people of Taiwan will not be subdued by any threat or intimidation, and any such attempts will only stir resentment from the people of Taiwan toward the Chinese government, he added. But Gap's China headquarters in Shanghai said the T-shirt had not been released in China.
China noted Gap's apology and "will follow carefully their actions and remarks later on", Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily briefing in Beijing.More news: Nikki Bella wants to 'get back together' with John Cena
"We have noticed this (Gap) statement and we will pay close attention to it", Lu said.
Worldwide fashion brand Zara was also ordered by the internet regulator in Shanghai to update its website after listing Taiwan as a country, medical equipment maker Medtronic was also ordered to publicly apologise on its website for making the same mistake.
On April 25, it sent dozens of global airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don't change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China - a move that provoked a strong pushback from the White House.More news: Anushka Compliments Deepika For Her Cannes Look
China's strong-arming of U.S. businesses prompted a harsh response from the White House last week.