Taiwan has angrily demand that Apple Inc. alter its new map application, which identifies the island nation as a province of China.
Users of the iOS 7 and version 10.9 of OS X for the new iPhone and computers have discovered that any search for “Taiwan” automatically produced simplified Chinese characters that read “China Taiwan province.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei instructed its office in San Francisco to demand that Apple make an immediate correction to the software.
“We have made representations to Apple,” Kelly Hsieh, head of the ministry’s Department of North American Affairs, told reporters in Taipei.
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“The designation of the mapping system has apparently deviated from the truth and has degraded our country’s sovereignty,” The China Post reported Hsieh as saying. “Matters like this must not be compromised.
“We have expressed our intense dissatisfaction to the company and demanded that it amend the error immediately,” Hsieh added.
Taiwan is deeply sensitive about the way in which it is described in international circles and prefers to be known as the Republic of China. That name has been officially recognised by 23 countries, although Beijing insists that the island is part of greater China.
Beijing has in the past threatened to use force to reunite the island with the mainland, although ties have improved in recent years with the election of a government in Taipei headed by Ma Ying-jeou that is actively promoting trade and tourism opportunities.
First elected in 2008, Ma was re-elected as recently as January 2012.
The error is not the first time that Taiwan has protested to Apple over its mapping service application. Earlier this year, the Ministry of National Defence filed a protest after the company exposed the location of a secret radar station in northern Hsinchu County.