Italian fashion house Versace apologised on Sunday in China for selling T-shirts that identified Hong Kong and Macao as countries, after a backlash over the perceived challenge to Chinese territorial integrity.
The T-shirt, images of which were widely posted on Chinese social media, featured a list of “city-country” pairs, including “New York-USA”, “Beijing-China” and “Shanghai-China”. But it also described the semi-autonomous territories of Hong Kong and Macao as “Hong Kong-Hong Kong and Macao-Macao.”
Both are former European colonies that were returned to China in the late 1990s.
The apology came after a Chinese actress cut her ties with the company, saying the clothing was suspected of harming China’s sovereignty.
The studio for Yang Mi, who had been a brand ambassador for Versace, said in a post on Chinese social media site Weibo that it had sent notice to the fashion company to terminate their contract. “The motherland’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are sacred and inviolable,” the studio’s statement read in part.