By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 15: More foreign companies have come under Beijing’s radar following Marriott International listing of Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as separate nations earlier last week.
International companies operating in China such as Delta Air Lines, high end accessories brand Bulgari, medical device-maker Medtronic and fashion brand Zara were reported to have listed the countries that China claim to be its part.
Delta Air Lines promptly issued an apology after the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) demanded an “immediate and public” apology for listing Tibet and Taiwan as countries on its website. Other companies such as Medtronic and Zara were also reproached for listing Taiwan as a separate nation. Bulgari on the other hand self censored and made changes to their Apps and websites fearing backlash from the Chinese government and its people.
Last week, hospitality company Marriott was reported to have been under fire from Chinese netizens after the company listed Tibet as a nation in a questionnaire sent among its members for feedback.
Chinese Internet users, according to Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece Global Times, have called for boycott of the hotel for what they called “hurting national interest”.
Diverting from Chinese government narratives, especially on sensitive issues like Tibet and Taiwan, many say, can have severe backlash with CCP showing growing intolerance on what they call to be an attack on their sovereignty. Foreign companies have either been banned completely such as Google and Facebook or have been made to comply by introducing drastic filters to accommodate Beijing’s interests.