Gap pulls shirt with incorrect map of China from stores, issues apology

Gap T Shirt with map of China

United States clothing retailer Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts with what it says was an "erroneous" map of China that did not include territories claimed by China, following a burst of outrage on Chinese social media.

In a post on China's Weibo microblogging platform late on Monday, the company said it had discovered that some T-shirts sold overseas "had an erroneous design of China's map".

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.

Although the company said the shirts had not been sold in China, it said in a statement that all shirts in the country had been recalled and destroyed.

Gap is the latest of several companies that have apologised for perceived slights to China's sovereignty.

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Gap promised to carry out "more rigorous reviews" to prevent similar incidents and said it respected China's "sovereignty and territorial integrity" and strictly followed the country's laws and rules. It also apologised for "this unintentional mistake and is now conducting internal investigations to quickly rectify this mistake". The fashion retailer has also pulled the product off its shelves in China and destroyed the shirts, a statement on its Weibo read.

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

This year, China has cracked down on worldwide companies to reinforce the "One China" policy., Marriott, Zara, and Mercedes-Benz are among the other companies that have apologized after similar slip-ups. The Tibetan spiritual leader is reviled by Beijing.

The US has started pushing back against Beijing, with the White House condemning China's efforts to control how American airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as "Orwellian nonsense".

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