Delta, Zara and Medtronic Join Marriott in Beijing's Doghouse After Location Gaffes

Delta, Zara and Medtronic Join Marriott in Beijing's Doghouse After Location Gaffes

Delta, Zara and Medtronic Join Marriott in Beijing's Doghouse After Location Gaffes

China suspended the website and mobile app of hotel chain Marriott after it listed Chinese territories as separate "countries".

Marriott is suffering the consequences after making a major political misstep in China.

In a move which is clearly meant to target bookings of the USA hotel giant, authorities in Shanghai on Thursday ordered Marriott to close its website and "conduct a thorough check on all contents".

Arne Sorenson, said in a statement the company "respects and supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China". The Dublin-headquartered manufacturer also vowed to pay more attention to user experiences in different regions.

"Businesses from the United States and other Western markets might have underestimated the severity of the geopolitical issues in China's business world", he said. "We have rectified this specific content immediately and we are now conducting a comprehensive self-inspection".

China has ordered an investigation after the Marriott hotel chain reportedly listed Tibet as a "country" in an e-mail questionnaire survey. "It was an inadvertent error with no business or political intention", the US airline said in a statement, after talks between its senior managers and officials at the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

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

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For global companies, there can be no room for error on issues of basic cultural understanding.

To the government's alarm, it listed Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Tibet as "countries".

Zara and Medtronic are not the only two companies that have been chastised for disrespecting China's territorial sovereignty. Taiwan, which was ruled by the Nationalist Party for decades after it was defeated by the Communist Party in the civil war, is considered a "renegade province".

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular briefing on Friday that Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Tibet were all part of China. They did not block access to Delta's websites, however. "This is a matter of principle". "I will never buy those brands or use their services".

Hong Kong and Macau are both special administrative regions of China.

The island of Taiwan declared independence in 1950 but Beijing has claimed sovereignty ever since.

Beijing considers the four regions to be Chinese territory.

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