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China slams 3 more multinationals over Taiwan status

14 January 2018

The Cyberspace Administration of China has blocked access to the Marriott hotel chain's website as punishment for geographical descriptions which challenge the People's Republic of China's sovereignty and territorial claims.

On the backdrop of the survey conducted by Marriott International for its customers, in which it stated Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were listed as individual nations, China has shut the site down.

"Marriott International respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China".

China's aviation authority meanwhile said it had asked Delta Air Lines to investigate why Taiwan and Tibet were listed as countries on its website, and demanded an "immediate and public" apology.

China's civil aviation regulator reached out to the United States airline, instructing them to issue an apology and rectify the situation with immediate effect.

China claims Taiwan - an independent, democratically-run island - as a renegade region to be reunified with the mainland in the not-too-distant future.

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In a number of areas, the army has been called out to back up local security forces and protect government buildings and banks. On the island of Djerba in the southeast of the country, a Jewish school was attacked by young protesters wearing hoods.

Ten minutes before a deadline set by Chinese regulators, Medtronic said in a statement that it understood China's position, but the company was just trying to help its users find particular locations. The warnings signal that the country may deploy more sticks against foreign companies that can't risk losing business in the world's second-biggest economy. Hong Kong and Macau became British and Portuguese territories, respectively, in the age of European colonialism but are now "special administrative regions" under China.

Moreover, the statement said that the action against Marriott should be regarded as a warning to other global companies: "Hotel companies must immediately review all information on their corporate websites and apps, and strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations to firmly stop such incidents from happening again", it read.

Marriott's Chinese website now shows a message with an apology.

It also promised to work with Chinese authorities on their investigation.

Tibet is officially an "autonomous region" but firmly under Chinese control. While Marriot now has more than 100 hotels under its different brands scattered across the country, it is keen as well to profit from swelling numbers of people from China travelling overseas. "Unfortunately, twice this week, we had incidents that suggested the opposite", the company's President and CEO Arne Sorenson said in the statement.

China slams 3 more multinationals over Taiwan status