Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Business | By Kate Woods

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

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

USA retailer Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an "incorrect map" of China.

The apology was triggered by complaints from consumers reacting to pictures of a Gap-branded T-shirt posted on Chinese social media network Weibo.

"We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error", said the company, which issued the statement through its public relations firm APCO after making a similar apology late Monday on its Weibo account.

The design featured just the mainland and not territories that China also claims, such as Taiwan.

"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, adding that the shirts had already been pulled from Chinese shelves and destroyed.

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Gap quickly apologized, even though it appears the T-shirt is not for sale in China.

Gap Inc has apologised for selling a shirt with an incorrect map of China after photos of the shirt found in an outlet store in Canada made the rounds online.

Gap said it respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, adding that it strictly abides by Chinese laws and regulations.

In a tweet, People's Daily showed the offending T-shirt alongside what it considers to be the correct map.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called the threat "Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies".

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The name change came in the wake of letters sent by China's Civil Aviation Administration in late April, pressuring 36 American and global airlines to remove references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries on their websites and marketing materials.

"China's internal Internet repression is world-famous".

The government has lodged a protest against a change of its designation to "Taiwan, China" on the website of Air Canada, the country's flag carrier and largest airline, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.

In the statement sent to the Global Times, Gap said the T-shirt has been pulled off shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed.

It is available online on the Gap Factory U.S. website, as part of the "City T-shirt in Jersey" range.

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