Chinese state media have denounced IKEA for listing Taiwan as a country alongside China and have demanded the Swedish company abide by the ‘one-China’ principle.
Chinese netizens uploaded on Weibo pictures of IKEA labels with the names of Taiwan and Hong Kong. The posts were picked up Chinese state media.
“Surprisingly IKEA has been listing Taiwan and Hong Kong separately from China on its official website and company information,” The Global Times article says. “Actually Chinese consumers have been denouncing this situation for some time.”
The Global Times points out that China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are listed as ‘locations’ rather than as ‘countries’, yet adds that the Balearic and Canary Islands are listed as part of Spain, while Spain itself is described as ‘Spain – Mainland’.
“IKEA should as quickly as possible give an explanation as to this issue that crosses the red line of Chinese consumers, and timely correct its mistake,” the article states. “If you want to earn Chinese consumers’ money, you should first sincerely respect them.”
According to Statista, in 2017 China was IKEA’s fifth top selling country after Germany, the United States, France and the United Kingdom, as well as the largest in Asia.
Recently China forced 44 global airlines, including American Airlines, United, Delta and Cathay Pacific to change Taiwan’s name to ‘Taiwan, China‘ on their websites.
On August 15, Taiwan-based 85C Bakery Cafe was pressured by China to issue a statement endorsing the ‘one-China principle‘ after Taiwanese President Ts’ai Ing-wen visited a 85C store in the United States.
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