STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

China blocks Marriott for listing Tibet and Taiwan as countries

Marriott is suffering the consequences after making a major political misstep in China.Chinese authorities say...

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 5:42 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 5:42 PM

Marriott is suffering the consequences after making a major political misstep in China.

Chinese authorities say they have blocked the Marriott website and app for a week after the hotel group listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate "countries" in its emails and app.

The online ban began on Thursday.

The Chinese government considers these cities and territories to be part of a unified China and clamps down on any talk of sovereignty in these areas.

Chinese authorities say Marriott's wording violated cybersecurity and advertising laws. China's tourism ministry said it "attaches great importance to this incident" and immediately ordered an investigation.

It said others in the industry should heed this as a warning.

"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 said. "Officials must ... severely punish violators."

Related: Business or pleasure? Rent these luxury hotel rooms for an afternoon

Marriott apologized profusely, saying it respects and supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

"Unfortunately, twice this week, we had incidents that suggested the opposite," said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International in a statement.

The company said it had corrected a survey sent to members of its loyalty program that labeled certain regions, including Tibet, as countries, and was conducting a full review of its Chinese website and apps.

Marriott is also investigating the "careless 'like'" by one of its official social media accounts of a pro-Tibet tweet that suggested its support for the position.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Sorenson said.

Marriott said it would take disciplinary action, which could involve firing the people involved. It also promised to work with Chinese authorities on their investigation.

Related: Marriott cancels 24-hour cancellation policy

China's cyber regulator has demanded meetings in Shanghai with two top regional executives from the American hotel chain and ordered the company to "conduct a comprehensive self-review and rectification."

Marriott has "seriously violated China's relevant laws and regulations and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people," it said.

The hotel conglomerate operates 6,200 properties in 125 countries around the world. It operates well over 100 locations in the Greater China region.

The website of Starwood, which is part of Marriott, was also taken offline in China.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30801

Reported Deaths: 526
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6818130
Marion444790
Washington428958
Umatilla291341
Clackamas225661
Malheur152723
Jackson10394
Lane96415
Deschutes76912
Yamhill73814
Jefferson5138
Polk50215
Morrow4886
Lincoln47213
Linn46613
Union4352
Benton2856
Klamath2732
Hood River2450
Wasco2343
Douglas2093
Josephine1832
Columbia1541
Coos1380
Clatsop1170
Baker902
Crook601
Tillamook480
Lake280
Wallowa281
Curry270
Sherman180
Harney120
Gilliam80
Grant80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Broken Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 62°
Corvallis
Broken Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
Roseburg
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
North Bend
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 60°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events