Marriott hotel chief apologises to Beijing for calling Tibet a country

Marcus Newton
January 14, 2018

The hotel chain also received flak for "liking" a "pro-independence of Tibet" tweet that praised Marriott for listing Tibet as a "country".

The latest demand came just a day after US hotel group Marriott was ordered to shut down its Chinese websites for a week for conducting an email survey in which it put Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and Tibet on a par with China as a nation.

While the hotel's global website is still available within China, the Shanghai Cyberspace Administration ordered it to close a Mandarin version.

He added that the minimum requirement of any company conducting business in the country was "to respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, abide by China's laws, and respect the feelings of the Chinese people".

US hotel chain Marriott's chief executive officer (CEO) apologized Thursday for listing Tibet, among other parts of China, as an independent country in a mail questionnaire, and promised to take measures to prevent such incidents.

On Friday, Delta Air Lines had to issue its own apology after the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) demanded an "immediate and public" apology for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website.

Earlier the Civil Aviation Administration of China demanded an "immediate and public" apology from the U.S. carrier along with an investigation into how the mistake happened.

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Ten minutes before a deadline set by Chinese regulators, Medtronic said in a statement that it understood China's position, but the company was just trying to help its users find particular locations. "This is the minimum requirement of any company going to another country to carry out business and investment", he said.

According to reports from local media and internet users, Spanish clothes company Zara's website (zara.cn) and USA medical technology firm Medtronic's website (medtronic.com) had categorized Chinese territories as countries.

Chinese authorities say Marriott's wording violated cybersecurity and advertising laws.

Former colonies of the United Kingdom and Portugal respectively, Hong Kong and Macau are Special Administrative Regions of China. "As one of our most important markets, we are fully committed to China and to our Chinese customers". We recognize the severity of the situation and sincerely apologize. The island, run by a government different from the mainland, is called the Republic of China (ROC).

Marriott said it had fixed the errors and would "actively cooperate" with the government investigation.

Beijing considers self-ruling Taiwan to be a breakaway province and Tibet is governed as an autonomous region.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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