Dior’s map of China omits the island of Taiwan, angering Chinese people
Published: Oct 17, 2019 10:55 AM

A model walks the runway at Dior's Dubai fashion show on Monday. Photo: IC

Well-known cosmetics brand Dior has issued a Chinese statement apologizing for one of its staff members displaying a map of China that omitted the island of Taiwan at a company recruitment event on Wednesday. Following the apology, Chinese net users urged the brand to make an apology on foreign social media platforms.

On Wednesday, a screenshot of a WeChat Moments post began to go viral on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter. 

The post read that a luxury brand had held a campus recruitment talk, which was accompanied by projected slides, at a Chinese university. During the talk, a student asked, "Why doesn't the map [on the slide] show the island of Taiwan?"

A staff member of the brand replied, "It may be because the picture [of the map] is too small [for Taiwan] to be seen."

The student continued, "I believe the island of Taiwan is bigger than [the section of] the South China's Hainan Province [which can be seen on the map]."

Later, it was revealed that the brand in question was Dior. Chinese net users questioned whether or not Dior believed the island of Taiwan to be a part of China.

At 2 am on Thursday, Christian Dior Commercial (Shanghai) Co made a statement on Sina Weibo, saying that the individual staff member's incorrect statement does not represent the company's continuous stance on China. "Dior always respects and maintains the one-China principle, strictly maintains China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and values Chinese people's feelings," the company said.

"We're deeply concerned about the individual staff member's mistake and will definitely learn from the incident and avoid similar mistakes," it continued.

The hashtag Diorstatement has become a trending topic on Sina Weibo, with nearly 4,000 net users having commenting below Dior's statement within seven hours.

A net user named mangguolaojuxing said, "It's possible that the individual staff member made the mistake and they do not represent Dior's stance, but this shows the company has problems in management and supervision. China's territorial integrity and sovereignty are sacred and inviolable…Please make a statement (including a picture) on your foreign social media accounts, or you'll lose Chinese consumers."

Another net user named franege said, "We accept [Dior's] apology. But remember to deal with the staff member. Plus, please teach your staff about China's geography. Don't always blame your staff for any mistake. Don't make any mistake more than three times."