Culture

Versace apologizes for mislabelling Hong Kong, Macau on T-shirts sold in China

Versace apologizes for mislabelling Hong Kong, Macau on T-shirts sold in China”

Italian luxury label Versace and its artistic director Donatella Versace apologised after one of the company's T-shirts was widely criticised on social media for labelling the Chinese-controlled territories of Hong Kong and Macau as countries.

"It is the duty of all Chinese citizens to uphold the "One China" principle and adamantly safeguard national unification", said the statement, as translated by Chinese state-run newspaper, the China Daily.

The company says that they have stopped selling the shirts, and also destroyed them.

Versace has just lost its brand ambassador in China.

Yang Mi, a Chinese actress and Versace's first brand ambassador from the country, announced Saturday that she would no longer work with the label in light of the controversy.

The T-shirt debacle comes amid a time of heightened sensitivities regarding China's relationship with Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, became a special administrative region of China in 1997.

In May past year the USA retailer Gap apologised for selling T-shirts with an "incorrect map" of China that did not include Taiwan and parts of the South China Sea.

Donatella, sister of the fashion house's late founder Gianni Versace, also made an apologetic post on her Instagram account, noting that she never meant to "disrespect China's National Sovereignty" and that's the reason why she had chosen to personally apologise for the "inaccuracy and for any distress that it might have caused", she rounded off.

"China's territorial integrity and sovereignty are sacred and inviolable at all times". This sparked a three-day sit-in protest at Hong Kong's worldwide airport, with protesters chanting pro-democracy slogans and handing out pamphlets to arriving travelers.

Versace has apologized and removed the T-shirt.

Beijing also ordered dozens of worldwide air carriers to change their websites to ensure Taiwan was listed as part of China - a decision that the White House described as "Orwellian nonsense".

Several other companies including Marriott and Delta Airlines issued similar apologies in 2018 after information on their websites appeared to conflict with China's territorial claims.

Pro-democracy demonstrators there have protested over an extradition bill introduced by the territory's chief executive, Carrie Lam, which critics feared would have allowed authorities to transfer dissidents in Hong Kong for prosecution in mainland China.



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