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China: Marriott in trouble after mistakes in diplomacy

Marriott International’s Chinese websites were shut down after listing Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries.

China did not accept the fact that Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were listed as individual nations in an online survey sent to clients to know where they lived. The American company also “liked” a post on social media supporting a separatist Tibet.

China considers self-ruling Taiwan to be a breakaway province and Tibet is governed as an autonomous region. Hong Kong and Macau are both special administrative regions of China.

In a statement from Arne Sorenson, Marriott International’s President and CEO, the company presents its apologies: "Marriott International respects and supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China […and does not] support anyone who subverts [them]."

The growing Chinese market attracts many hotel groups, however, it must be addressed without forgetting the major constraints that are country-specific, given the specificity of the destination that is both open internationally and governed by a centralized power.

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