With the democratic protests going on in Hong Kong, the region is a political minefield, as clearly evidenced by the fact that Christian Dior has issued an apology regarding its map illustrations, which missed one key detail.
It’s only the latest foreign brand to apologise to the state following an incident where Beijing perceived that its map was being misrepresented. In this case, the French fashion brand used a map in a presentation featuring China, but excluding Taiwan.
Taiwan, officially, has been sovereign since the 50s, but Beijing’s take on the matter is that the country is one of their provinces.
The fashion brand issued an apology on the matter, calling it a ‘mistake in representation’.
The controversy flared up following the anonymous posting of a video online which claimed that it showed a Dior employee speaking at a university in China and using the map. It sparked a massive reaction on social media, with many saying that Dior wasn’t respecting China’s territorial claims.
Chinese search engine Weibo noted that “Dior statement” became one of the most searched items following the incident.
In the official statement, Dior said that they apologise for the incident, which happened on October 16, 2019, where a member of their HR team was presenting at an even, and made an error in representation with their map illustrations, and giving an incorrect explanation. It added that it made a diligent investigation on the matter, and it would handle it as soon as possible.
It added, that Dior has always respected and upheld the idea of one China, the country’s rights and sovereignty, as well as treasuring the feelings of the Chinese people.
Recently, Chinese social media users have been hunting down companies which they perceive to be challenging the country’s territorial claims. Thanks to the country’s market power, brands are trying their best not to get hit with negative PR, or a boycott, by offending Chinese consumers.
Other incidents including Versace apologizing for an incident in August where an image on one of their t—shirts suggested that Hong Kong and Macau were sovereign territories separate from the mainland.