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Marriott forced to apologize in China for a questionnaire listing Tibet as a country

A JW Marriott hotel in Beijing. The Marriott hotel chain is under investigation in China after it listed Tibet and Taiwan as countries. (Photo courtesy: Mark Schiefelbein/Associate Press)
A JW Marriott hotel in Beijing. The Marriott hotel chain is under investigation in China after it listed Tibet and Taiwan as countries. (Photo courtesy: Mark Schiefelbein/Associate Press)

(TibetanReview.net, Jan11, 2018) – Chinese internet users have called for a boycott of Marriott International on Jan 9 after it had listed “China’s” Tibet Autonomous Region as a country in an email sent to elite members, prompting an apology from the global hotel chain from the USA, reported the globaltimes.cn and other official online Chinese government-run media in Jan 9 reports.

The report noted that an internet user with the identity of “zhongjusaodi” had posted on Jan 9 that Marriott International had sent a questionnaire via email to its members to receive feedback on its services and asked them to choose a country from a list which included the Chinese mainland, Tibet, Macao, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

The report cited the user as saying he had complained about Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan being listed without the word “region” and “now they are going too far by listing Tibet as a country!”

Following this and other complaints by Chinese internet users, Marriott Rewards, responsible for managing the membership of Marriott Inc, was quoted as saying in a notice on its Sina Weibo microblog account on Jan 9, “We are deeply sorry for the questionnaires.”

The notice was further quoted as saying, “For now we have suspended the questionnaires and will fix the options at once. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the incident.”

Sina Weibo users, including China’s Communist Youth League and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, were reproved to have complained, including with some calling for a boycott of the company and its hotels.

The report noted that Marriott was a leading global lodging company with more than 6,000 properties in 122 countries and territories, reporting revenues of more than $17 billion in fiscal year 2016. It was stated to own 124 hotels in the People’s Republic of China.

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