Lufthansa, Mercedes-Benz, Bosch all now list Taiwan as part of China
A classification that is becoming more and more common in the business world this world
Taiwanese media has discovered that three of Germany’s biggest companies now list Taiwan as part of China on their websites, a classification that is becoming more and more widespread in the business world.
While Lufthansa used to list Taiwan as simply “Taiwan,” that has now been changed to “Taiwan, China.”
Mercedes-Benz has followed suit.
Meanwhile, engineering and electronics giant Bosch has gone instead with “Taiwan (China).”
Taiwan’s envoy to Germany, Shieh Jhy-wey, has sent letters to each of these companies, complaining about the reclassification, but believes that the chances of any of the corporations actually deciding to restore the name of Taiwan are slim to none, reports Taiwan News.
“Recently, China has taken really big actions against Taiwan, this is a global phenomenon,” Shieh says. “We cannot accept this and we must respond.”
The way that Taiwan is referred to on corporate websites suddenly became a major international issue in January after the international hotel chain Marriott was found to have listed Taiwan, along with Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau, as separate “countries” on a customer survey, resulting in the brand being forced to suspend its website and app in China for one week and issue a groveling apology for hurting the feelings of the Chinese people.
Soon, a number of other international companies, including Delta and Zara, were also exposed for having listed Taiwan as a separate “country” on their websites, attracting the attention and anger of China’s army of internet warriors.
Last week, even the Swedish Tax Agency announced that it had changed the name of Taiwan on its website from the “Republic of China (Taiwan)” to “Taiwan, Province of China,” angering Taipei, which called the change “unacceptable.”
Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz has inadvertently drawn China’s wrath once already this year by posting an Instagram ad which featured a quote from the Dalai Lama. In the wake of that fiasco, Mercedes-Benz issued a grovelling apology, which was soon followed by another one from the auto brand’s owner Daimler.
“Daimler offers no support, assistance, aid or help to anyone who intentionally subverts or attempts to subvert China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the apology was reported to have read.
“Daimler deeply regrets the hurt and grief that its negligent and insensitive mistake has caused to the Chinese people.”
It’s worth noting that, like most countries, Germany does not officially recognize Taiwan, though it does keep a “non-diplomatic” representative office in Taipei.
[Images via Taiwan News]