Marriott lists Tibet as country, angry China suspends hotel website and mobile app


NEW DELHI: The US-based Marriott hotel has sparked anger from China after it released a questionnaire for its Chinese members, which listed Tibet, among other Chinese territories, as a separate country, the agency reported Chinese State Press Xinhua.
On Tuesday, the global hotel chain sent a questionnaire to its Chinese members that listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as options under the question “Which country are you from?”
Even though the questionnaire was withdrawn following negative reactions from the Chinese online community, the international hotel chain’s official Twitter account added fuel to the fire when it liked a tweet from the Tibetan separatist group.
Following the incidents, authorities in Shanghai launched an investigation and demanded the removal of any controversial content from the hotel’s website and mobile app.
A day later, the Shanghai Cyberspace Administration ordered Marriott to shut down its Chinese website and mobile app for a week.
Amid mounting criticism, Marriott CEO and Chairman Arne Sorenson apologized for the incidents and pledged to take action to prevent such incidents.
“We do not support anyone who subverts China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and we have no intention of encouraging or inciting such persons or groups. We recognize the gravity of the situation and we we sincerely apologize, ”Sorenson said in a statement. declaration.
The questionnaire, which violated China’s cybersecurity and advertising laws, can result in a fine of up to one million yuan ($ 153,822) for Marriott or revocation of its business license.
Marriott operates 270 hotels with nearly 100,000 rooms in China.

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