The recent shutdown of the website and app of Marriott hotel over their listing of Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as independent countries in a customer questionnaire and subsequent apologetic kow-towing of Marriott hotel for this gaffe has not gone down well with many netizens.
Marriott hotel is not alone facing the wrath of China, Delta Airlines and Zara, the clothing retailer were the next global brands to be chastised for listing Tibet and Taiwan as separate countries.
While many Chinese netizens took to Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter rip-off and conveyed outrage and called for Marriott Hotels to be boycotted, the Twitteratis pointed out the complicity of global corporations in stifling of free speech. In response to Marriot International’s Twitter apology for the gaffe, a Twitter user, James Palmer tweeted, ‘The single biggest threat to free speech in the west isn’t China alone, but the complicity of our corporations with China’.
A Twitter user incensed by the meek submission of Marriot hotel to the Chinese diktat, tweeted, ‘I will never stay in a Marriot hotel again. It’s clear that Marriot supports the Communist Nation of China which is absolutely sickening’.
The Marriott hotel’s complication with China further compounded when it came to the knowledge of China that the Marriot’s Twitter page had like a post shared by ‘Friends of Tibet’, a Tibet advocacy group.
China’s uneasiness over this issue manifests that it is not matured enough and not capable yet to take a global leadership role as proclaimed by Xi Jinping during the 19th Peoples’ party congress last year.