The Chinese website of Marriott International has been shut down and an employee sacked after two incidences of the hotel chain “disrespecting China’s sovereignty”.
The outcry began last week when Marriott customers noticed that a Chinese
language survey sent out by the hotel listed Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as independent countries.
The Chinese government considers self-ruling Taiwan as a breakaway Chinese province.
Tibet, meanwhile, is governed as an autonomous region, while Hong Kong and Macau are both technically part of China in their role of Special Administrative Regions.
Marriott International immediately apologized for the error, claiming the survey was outsourced to a company who they will now be breaking ties with.
As the news went viral among Chinese internet users, some sharp-eyed netizens also noticed that one of the Marriott’s Twitter accounts had liked a post by Friends of Tibet, a group supporting Tibetan independence.
This prompted the Chinese government to ban access to the Marriott’s Mandarin website and app, although international versions were still available to China internet users.
The hotel group’s Chief Executive Arne Sorenson said on Thursday that the company, "respects and supports Chinese sovereignty and its territorial integrity".
"We don't support anyone who subverts the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China,” he added.
"Unfortunately, twice this week, we had incidents that suggested the opposite."
The following day, the President and Managing Director of Asia-Pacific said the company has fired the employ who “wrongfully” liked the Friends of Tibet Twitter account.
On Saturday, Shanghai-based news portal Thepaper.cn took the war further by reporting that 24 airlines list Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as countries on their websites.
The same day, China’s Civil Aviation Administration called for all foreign airlines to check the accuracy of their websites and apps and amend any errors.
Meanwhile clothing store Zara and medical equipment supplier Medtronic were also discovered to have referred to Taiwan as a country on their websites.
Both have issued apologies after being contacted by Shanghai’s internet regulator.
Peking University has become the latest to offer a video game course in China.
China is the country with the most billionaires in the world, according to a new report.
Your days of guessing what you Baidu or Google Translation actually means may be nearly over. Microsoft claims to have developed translation software that actually works.
According to the much respected Times Higher Education Asia Rankings, Tsinghua University and Peking University are the second and third best in Asia.
The Great Fire Wall of China is about to get a little bit taller. From the end of next month, overseas providers of virtual private networks (VPNs) will be blocked in China, state media has reported.
Ethnically Chinese foreigners can now gain a five-year China visa, under new rules.
All comments are subject to moderation by eChinacities.com staff. Because we wish to encourage healthy and productive dialogue we ask that all comments remain polite, free of profanity or name calling, and relevant to the original post and subsequent discussion. Comments will not be deleted because of the viewpoints they express, only if the mode of expression itself is inappropriate.
Please login to add a comment. Click here to login immediately.