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Rage over Marriott's separate booking

Central Station | Jan 12, 2018
Authorities in Shanghai are investigating the Marriott after the hotel triggered an online uproar with a questionnaire listing Chinese regions like Hong Kong as separate countries.

City officials are debating whether the gaffe in Marriott International's Putonghua questionnaire violated cyber-security and advertising laws, though the hotel apologized and amended a document asking people in a customer rewards program to list a country of residence. Hong Kong, Macau, Tibet and Taiwan were among options.

Beijing bristles at any suggestion of independence for any of them, and anger this time snowballed after the case was posted on the Communist Youth League's Weibo page. Thousands of outraged comments ensued, like "Boycott Marriott!"

Shanghai authorities met Marriott executives to demand that besides a correction the hotel must rectify the "bad influence" from the affair.

A Shanghai advertising agency was fined one million yuan (HK$1.2 million) in November over a Chinese map used in an ad, with authorities saying it was inaccurate and "damaged the country's dignity." But what was actually wrong with the map was not explained.



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