China urges hotels to review websites as 'country' crackdown grows


China's tourism authority has urged accommodation companies to review their websites and apps to fix what Beijing deems to be inaccurate labelling of Taiwan or other Chinese-claimed territories as countries.

The move expands the Chinese government's efforts of recent days to police how foreign businesses refer to parts of China, or territories claimed by Beijing, including Taiwan and Hong Kong - even if only in pull-down menus on websites.

On Thursday the government suspended Marriott International Inc’s Chinese website for a week to punish the world’s biggest hotel chain for listing Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries in a customer questionnaire.

No activities that challenge China's "legal red lines" would be permitted, the state news agency Xinhua quoted a China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) official as saying.

It said the administration had ordered immediate and thorough checks of websites and apps by accommodation companies to ensure they comply with the law.

The civil aviation authority on Friday demanded an apology from Delta Air Lines for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website, while another government agency took aim at Inditex-owned fashion brand Zara and medical device maker Medtronic Plc for similar issues.

Marriott, Delta, Zara and Medtronic have all apologised.

The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) ordered all foreign airlines operating routes to China on Friday to check their websites and apps.

The crackdown was accompanied by an outcry online in China over the perceived slights, and efforts to unearth other infractions.

On Saturday, the Shanghai-based newspaper The Paper reported that it had found 24 other foreign airlines with websites listing Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau as countries. Most were in pull-down menus in registration or comments sections, it said.

The mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, the People's Daily newspaper, said in an editorial "the essence of the problem is the 'political arrogance' of foreign companies unafraid to hurt the feelings of people from other countries".

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2018.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Just watch how quick these Countries get ditched by cash hungry companies just to keep the Chinese Dictatorship happy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just watch how quick these Countries get ditched by cash hungry companies just to keep the Chinese Dictatorship happy.

Will it be restricted to the Chinese hosted websites and subdomains of websites targeting mainland China?

I have looked at a few websites of other major Western companies and they still refer to Taiwan as Taiwan, although Hong Kong, Tibet and Macau are treated differently, especially the latter two.

I think if we see Western companies making the same changes on sites hosted outside of China and/or not targeting mainland Chinese, like in the U.S or U.K, then at that point i'd be calling for boycotts and then some.

The U.S has recently put forward the Taiwan Travel Act which passed the House, unanimously and is waiting on Senate approval. It seems like an opportune time for Trump to issue a statement telling U.S Multinationals that what China decides to do with Chinese hosted websites and those targeting mainland Chinese is up to them, but in no way should that practice apply outside of Chinese hosted websites or portions of websites not targeting mainland Chinese nationals.

We need to make that distinction absolutely crystal clear. The CCP has no business interfering in business operations targeting people outside of their borders.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I’ve heard on US passports, the US does not recognize Taiwan or list Taiwan for its citizens born in Taiwan, but instead, China.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For businesses, money always wins in the end.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Perhaps the USA should insist that all Chinese Airlines flying to the US should list Taiwan and Tibet as countries, or face having their websites shut down in this country. Fair is fair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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