Marriott's error offers lesson for other companies
HAVING PROVOKED outrage with an online customer questionnaire that listed Chinese regions as separate countries, the US hotel giant has announced it has suspended the questionnaires and is correcting the options. Thepaper.cn commented on Thursday:
Authorities in Shanghai were reportedly investigating the US hotel giant Marriott after it listed China's Taiwan, the Tibet autonomous region, and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions as separate countries.
Marriott has issued an apology, and said it is amending the online questionnaire for members of its loyalty rewards program, which offered the regions as possible options as their country of residence.
Marriott said it was "deeply sorry" and that it reiterated "our usual stand in respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity".
However, some people have seized on the company's mistake to gain publicity for their own purposes.
A handful of "friends of Tibet" immediately took to the street in the United States to support the hotel group's previous demarcation of the regions as not being part of China.
Recognizing the one-China principle is mandatory for any company wishing to do business in China.
China has enough reasons to close its door to foreign enterprises that cross that bottom line. Other foreign enterprises in China should not make Marriott's mistake.