Here’s a sobering reminder that not all countries believe in the same freedom we do.
China is shutting down Marriott’s website for a week as punishment for perceived acts of disrespect to China’s sovereignty. What were these egregious acts? They listed Taiwan as a separate country on a questionnaire it sent to some customers. Oh, and Tibet. And Hong Kong and Macau.
The Shanghai government said it had asked Marriott to “take down all relevant content, conduct a thorough check on all contents it posted on its website and online application to prevent anything similar, and address the public’s concern in a timely fashion to eliminate a negative impact.”
Set aside the fact that Taiwan is actually, kinda, sorta their own country. Marriott, a worldwide corporation with thousands of hotel rooms, had their website shut down for a mistake on a questionnaire. This isn’t even equivalent to Marriott saying Hawaii was its own country. It’s more like saying Puerto Rico is a separate country. Is there anyone who thinks the US government would shut down Marriott’s website for something like this?
The Final Two Pennies
The article also notes that Chinese citizens took to the country’s version of Twitter to complain about Marriott’s actions. I have no idea if that’s true. If so, it’s equally disturbing. Do Chinese citizens believe they were aggrieved as well? What’s the damage here?
The only damage I see are the amount of bookings Marriott will likely lose in the week Chinese citizens won’t be able to access their website or mobile app. Just a scary example of the difference in cultures around the world.
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