By Tenzin Zompa
DHARAMSHALA, June 5: American wholesale chain Costco is the latest company facing backlash from the Chinese netizens for its stance on Taiwan in a letter from 2016 which viewed Taiwan as a country. Chinese netizens have called for an apology from the US company.
In 2016, A Costco executive sent a letter to the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), supporting Taiwan’s right to be an independent nation. The letter came in response to the group’s complaint that an online application form didn't include Taiwan in a drop-down menu of countries. The letter had said the company viewed Taiwan as a “country.”
Costco is now on the list of American companies including Gap, Delta Airlines, Marriott Hotels that apologized to China for mislabeling Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong as independent separate nations.
Costco, which has long operated in Taiwan and is preparing to open its first store in mainland China, hasn’t responded publicly and didn’t respond to a request for comment, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In February, an Instagram post by Mecedes- Benz featuring a picture of one of it’s luxury car alongside a quote by Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama caused the car company to apologize to China for “evoking separatist beliefs inside Chinese territorial regions.”
Gap, the San-Francisco-based apparel company came on the hit list on Chinese social media for selling T-Shirts representing a map of China, but excluding Taiwan, a self- ruled Island on the South China sea and Southern Tibet from the sketch. Although the T-Shirt is not for sale in China, the firm quickly apologised.
A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry in early May said that foreign companies operating in the country should “respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, abide by China’s law and respect the national feeling of the Chinese people.”