Marriott Website Suspended in China After Listing Tibet and Taiwan as Countries

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Chinese authorities have ordered three more multinational enterprises, namely Zara, Medtronic and Delta Air Lines, to stop listing Chinese territories as independent countries following yesterday's incident involving worldwide hotel chain Marriott.

Shanghai cyberspace administration Friday ordered two transnational enterprises Zara and Medtronic to remove all illegal content from their websites.

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".

Earlier, a report on the official Xinhua news agency said that Marriott sent out a questionnaire to its Chinese members on Tuesday with the question "Which country are you from?", listing Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as options.

The same regulator also accused fashion brand Zara and medical device maker of listing Taiwan as a country on its respective websites and called for an apology.

Medtronic had also put "Republic of China (Taiwan)" on one of its websites, the office said in a WeChat post, giving both companies until 6 pm local time to apologize.

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Taiwan, which calls itself the Republic of China, and goes under various names in global organizations, has been self-ruled since 1949 in defiance of the Communist regime in the PRC.

Delta and Zara, however, are not the only companies to be publicly scolded by China this week.

After issuing a public apology in response to the geographical gaffe on the emailed questionnaire, he was forced to speak out once more when it transpired that an employee had "liked" and shared a Twitter post by Friends of Tibet, which campaigns for independence for the region. Since her inauguration, Chinese visits to Taiwan have fallen significantly and more nations have severed diplomatic ties with the government in Taipei, in favor of Beijing.

The CAC met with Marriott representatives this week and ordered its website and app to be taken down for a week, as punishment.

Marriott reportedly promised to cooperate with the authorities for the investigation. We recognize the severity of the situation and sincerely apologize.

Hong Kong and Macau are former European colonies that have retained high degrees of autonomy since their return to China as special administrative regions in the late 1990s.