Delta Airlines apologises for listing China's territories as independent countries

Delta Airlines apologises for listing China's territories as independent countries

Marriott is in trouble again, this time, the South China Morning Post says, because one of its corporate Twitter accounts "liked" and shared a post congratulating the hotel group over listing Tibet and Hong Kong as independent countries.

Authorities are investigating Marriott International after the US-based hotel corporation categorised Chinese territories as "country" in an e-mail questionnaire to its members, which caused a stir among Chinese netizens, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

While the global website of the hotel is available in China, a Mandarin version of the same was ordered closed by the Shanghai Cyberspace Administration.

USA 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.

China also rebuked fashion company Zara and Delta Air Lines over the content of its websites. On the same day, China's Civil Aviation Administration summoned executives of Delta as the carrier on its website listed Taiwan and Tibet, located in western China, as nations.

The island of Taiwan declared independence in 1950 but Beijing has claimed sovereignty ever since. "As one of our most important markets, we are fully committed to China and to our Chinese customers".

To compound the error, Marriott also suggested its support for this position by liking a post on Facebook, a move it blamed on a "careless" associate.

Marriott has "seriously violated China's relevant laws and regulations and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people", it said.

The former colonies of Hong Kong and Macau have been Beijing-ruled since the 1990s, but retain some autonomy from the mainland.

After being made aware of the offense to the Chinese government, Marriott apologized. "We recognize the severity of the situation and sincerely apologize", Sorenson said in a statement. While Marriot now has more than 100 hotels under its different brands scattered across the country, it is keen as well to profit from swelling numbers of people from China travelling overseas.

The hotel complied with requests from the authorities to delete the references from its online platforms, according to media reports.

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