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Delta Urged to Atone for Calling Taiwan, Tibet 'Countries' Amid Chinese Outcry

Delta Urged to Atone for Calling Taiwan, Tibet 'Countries' Amid Chinese Outcryā€¯

China has ordered an investigation after the Marriott hotel chain reportedly listed Tibet as a "country" in an e-mail questionnaire survey.

China has shut down Marriott's local website and mobile phone app after the hotel chain listed Hong Kong and Tibet as countries in an online survey.

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

"We welcome foreign companies to invest and operate in China, but they should then respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, our laws and regulations, and the feelings of the Chinese people", Lu added.

Meanwhile, worldwide fashion brand Zara and medical equipment maker Medtronic were ordered by the internet regulator in Shanghai to update their websites after they too were found to have to referred to Taiwan as a country.

U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines has also been reprimanded by the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) for labelling Taiwan and Tibet as countries.

China views with Tibet and Taiwan as integral to its territory and reacted furiously to the mistake.

In a statement, Sorenson continued: "As a company, we take very seriously the privilege and opportunity we have to serve guests in countries around the world - and particularly in China, a market we have been in for over 30 years. This is the minimum requirement of any company going to another country to carry out business and investment", he said. They also suspended the Chinese app of the hotel group for one week in penance. Hong Kong, a former British colony, and Macau, a former colony of Portugal, were returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997 and 1999, respectively, under the special arrangement called "one country, two systems".

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

But Marriott's inclusion of Tibet - a Chinese provincial-level autonomous region - was the straw that broke the camel's back for Zhongjusaodi and others. "Unfortunately, twice this week, we had incidents that suggested the opposite", the company's President and CEO Arne Sorenson said in the statement.



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