Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Swarovski latest brand to apologise to China for describing Hong Kong as country

Versace and Coach already issued apologies to China earlier this week

Swarovski apologises to Chinese customers for erroneously describing Hong Kong as a country on its website. EPA/WU HONG
Swarovski apologises to Chinese customers for erroneously describing Hong Kong as a country on its website. EPA/WU HONG

Swarovski has become the latest brand to apologise to China after labelling Hong Kong as an independent country.

The crystal maker erroneously described Hong Kong as a country on its website, leading to backlash from Chinese customers.

Posting a statement on Facebook, Swarovski said it took “full responsibility” for the mistake, and added that it “firmly respected” China’s sovereignty.

"Considering the recent happenings in China, Swarovski takes full responsibility and sincerely apologises to the people of China, as well as to our collaborative partners and Brand Ambassador, Ms Jiang Shuying, who have been deeply disappointed due to misleading communication on China's national sovereignty," the Australian-owned firm said.

Swarovski is the latest in a line of companies to apologise to China for not adhering to its territorial claims. Earlier this week, Versace pulled a T-shirt design which listed Hong Kong as its own country on a list of global cities. The brand later released a statement to say it was “deeply sorry for the unfortunate error”.

Luxury brand Coach also came under scrutiny for listing Hong Kong and Taiwan as countries on its website.

Coach subsequently issued an apology on Chinese social media site Weibo, and said the error had been corrected. The label is "committed to long-term development in China and respects the feelings of the Chinese people", a statement added.

The sensitive topic has hit headlines in recent months due to widespread anti-government protests held in Hong Kong.

Demonstrations began as protests against a now-suspended extradition bill, but have since ballooned into broader calls for greater democratic rights and government accountability.

Earlier this week, protestors closed Hong Kong airport, grounding all flights.

Updated: August 14, 2019 11:43 AM

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