The company is the latest to publicly express its remorse after being hit with an online backlash from China's often nationalist keyboard warriors. "We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error", it said in a statement posted on its Weibo account on Monday evening. "The related products were pulled off the shelves in the Chinese market and destroyed earlier".
United States clothing retailer Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts with what it says was an "erroneous" map of China that did not include territories claimed by China, following a burst of outrage on Chinese social media.
Marriott and Gap aren't alone in causing offence to China, Delta Air Lines recently issued a public apology for what it described as a "grave mistake" after listing Taiwan and Tibet as independent countries on its website.
The apology was triggered by complaints from consumers reacting to pictures of a Gap-branded T-shirt posted on Chinese social media network Weibo.
Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial issue.
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On April 25, it sent dozens of global airlines a written threat of severe punishments if they don't change their websites to declare that Taiwan is part of China - a move that provoked a strong pushback from the White House.
"This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies", it said in a statement. As stated by the user, the photograph of the T-shirt was taken at an outlet store in Canada.
China, however, has an ax to grind generally-and now specifically because of an image on a T-shirt.
USA airline Delta (DAL) and European clothing retailer Zara also came under fire over similar issues on their websites in China.
Chinese authorities in January blocked Marriott's (MAR) websites and apps for a week after the company listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate countries in emails and apps. Other T-shirts in the range show San Francisco, Paris, Japan and Canada but are decorated with national flags rather than maps.