Jeweller Bulgari apologises after Taiwan listing sparks fury in China

(Source: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann)

High-end jeweller Bulgari has apologised after allegedly listing Taiwan as independent from China on an overseas website, sparking a furious response on Chinese social media.

The company and its Chinese celebrity ambassadors became trending topics on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform after users spotted the country drop down menu on Bulgari’s website.

The controversy prompted state media outlet Global Times to post on social media that: “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and cannot be listed as a country”.

Bulgari, which is owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH, apologised on its official Weibo account, saying the mistake was due to a management error and that it “respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

It’s not the first foreign brand to face the wrath of Chinese social media users aggrieved about a perceived territorial slight. In 2019, luxury brands including Versace, Givenchy and Coach were heavily criticised in China when it came to light that they had, on websites and merchandise, indicated Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were countries.

  • Reporting by Casey Hall; Editing by Ed Osmond and Mark Potter ,of Reuters.

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