Luxury brand Versace has apologized after an image on one of its T-shirts appeared to imply Hong Kong and Macau were independent territories.
After fierce criticism on social media in China, ‘Versace’ said it had made a mistake and had stopped selling the tops.
It said it “respects the sovereignty of China’s territorial state”.
Fashion brands ‘Givenchy’ and ‘Coach’ are also facing a backlash for not adhering to China’s territorial claims.
The Versace T-shirts, images of which were shared on social media, featured city-country pairs such as Milan-Italy and London-UK. These also included Hong Kong-Hong Kong and Macau-Macao.
China has been increasingly strict in policing how foreign firms describe Hong Kong, which is part of China but has a special status, offering its people more autonomy than those on the mainland. Macau is a special administrative region of China.
In a post on Weibo, the Italian fashion label said it had stopped selling and had destroyed the T-shirts as of 24 July.
“We apologize for the dispute. We love China and respect the sovereignty of China’s territorial state,” a translation of Versace’s statement said.
Last year, US retailer ‘GAP’ apologized for selling T-shirts which it said showed an “incorrect map” of China.
The design featured just the mainland and not territories that China also claims, such as Taiwan. Beijing considers self-ruling Taiwan to be a breakaway province.
Beijing had earlier demanded a group of foreign airlines respect China’s sovereignty claims and change the way they refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
By: BBC News