A top Chinese think tank criticised Apple, Amazon and other foreign companies in a report for not referring to Hong Kong and Taiwan as China’s territories, Reuters reported on Thursday. Self-ruled Taipei responded by calling on the international community to stand up to China.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said that the websites of 66 foreign companies had listed Taiwan separately from China, while 53 had listed Hong Kong and Macao as distinct entities. The companies mentioned include Nike and Facebook, said Global Times, a newspaper linked to the Chinese government.
While Taiwan has its own government, Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous former British colony and autonomous Macao was formerly ruled by the Portuguese.
Responding to the think tank’s report, a spokesman for Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen called on the international community to “face this squarely and to unite efforts to reduce and contain these actions [by China]”, Reuters reported.
China had stepped up pressure on international businesses ever since Taiwan in 2016 elected the pro-independence president.
Apple has been censured earlier by China for listing Hong Kong and Taiwan separately alongside their flags, when in September last year the technology company had announced launch dates for its iPhone XS and XS Max mobile phones.
In the same month, China urged the United States to cancel a $330 million arms deal with Taiwan as it violated the “one-China” principle.