By Will Kessler, The Daily Caller Foundation | July 12, 2023
A luxury fashion company issued an apology on Chinese social media Tuesday after listing Taiwan as a country on its website.
The Italian fashion brand Bulgari issued an apology on Weibo, a Chinese alternative to Twitter, after listing Taiwan as a country on its website, receiving backlash from internet users and state-run media, according to The Associated Press. In the statement released on Weibo, the company blamed negligence from management for the labeling, noting the company’s support for China’s territorial claims.
“Bulgari’s position of respecting China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is, as always, unswerving,” the company said in Chinese on a Weibo post. The listing of Taiwan as a country “was wrongly marked on the overseas official website due to management negligence.”
The statement followed a report from the state-backed China News Service on Weibo pointing out that the company had not added the word “China” in front of its listing of Taiwan, leading some to the conclusion that Bulgari was supporting Taiwan’s claims of sovereignty and prompting internet backlash, Bloomberg reports. Hong Kong and Macau on the site were referred to as “China Hong Kong” and “China Macau.”
Tensions between the U.S. and China have been heightened in recent weeks. On July 6, Chinese President Xi Jinping instructed the Chinese Military to continue its war planning as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen touched down in Beijing for economic talks. Before that, President Joe Biden alluded to Xi as a “dictator” while talking about the Chinese spy balloon that flew over the country, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken later refusing to say in an interview if Xi is a dictator.
Vietnam banned the distribution of the upcoming Warner Bros. film “Barbie” after a scene featured a map showing the “nine-dash line,” which is typically seen on Chinese maps to illustrate the country’s claims on the South China Sea as Vietnam contests the region.
Bulgari did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.