(TibetanReview.net, Jan13, 2018) – US hospitality company Marriott could face a maximum fine of 1 million yuan (US $153,822) or even have its business license revoked for its gaffe of listing Tibet and Taiwan as countries in an online, Chinese language marketing questionnaire, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Jan 11, citing a Shanghai lawyer.
Marriott had, on Jan 9 morning sent out an email questionnaire to its Chinese members, which listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as options under the question “Which country are you from?”
Screenshots of the questionnaire posted on microblog site Weibo soon went viral and stirred a strong public backlash.
The report continued that Marriott suspended the questionnaire late Jan 10 and apologized twice on its Weibo account on Jan 10 and 11.
But many Chinese and the authorities were reportedly not satisfied with what the report described as a belated apology.
The report cited Wu Hai, a lawyer in Shanghai, as saying listing the four places as “countries” in then emailed questionnaires had directly violated China’s cybersecurity and advertising laws.
“According to the advertising law, Marriott may face a maximum fine of 1 million yuan (153,822 U.S. dollars) or have its business license revoked,” Wu has added.