US multinational company Marriott International said that it is in the process of firing an employee who had previously liked a social media post pertaining to the Tibet independence. The Marriott controversy revolved solely around their guidebook listing Tibet and Hong Kong as separate countries.
China had taken cognizance of the matter and had said that they would conduct due investigation in the case. They viewed Marriott International’s supposed error as an affront against the Communist Party which strictly condemns all separatist phenomenon in the country. The announcement of the employee being fired was made by Craig Smith, President and managing director of Asia-Pacific for Marriott international.
According to the Guardian, the announcement was made at a meeting with the China National Tourism Administration on Friday.
“Listing Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as countries was an infringement of China’s territorial integrity and hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” said Wang Xiaofeng, deputy director of the administration.
According to Smith, the questionnaire had been prepared by an outsourcing company. He said that Marriott International apologized for failing to notice the error in the said questionnaire. On top of that, Smith said that the company had cancelled its deals with the said outsourcing company.
“Due to the mistake of an individual employee, our official [Twitter] account wrongly ‘liked’ the tweet supporting Tibet independence and misled the public. [We] have now suspended this employee and dismissal proceedings are under way,” Smith was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
Marriott International furthered itself down to controversy when social media users in China pointed out that one of the employees of Marriott International had purportedly liked a post on Twitter which was shared by a group supporting Tibetan freedom struggle, said the report.