Foreign companies doing business in China have long had to make existential choices about everything from censorship to providing the government with sensitive information to do business there. Regarding the Chinese government's edict, U.S. airlines will likely go along to get along.
The White House released a blistering statement attacking China’s government for a recent demand that U.S. and other airlines change the way they refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau in promotional materials.
“This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,’’ White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Saturday in a statement.
U.S. airlines were among several that received letters from China’s Civil Aviation Administration calling for strict guidelines for any references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, according to the White House. The Chinese government considers those entities as part of China and objects to references that indicate they are independent.
[Skift Editor’s Note: The Chinese government blocked Marriott’s China website several months ago after the chain in a survey referred to Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and Tibet as separate countries and not belonging to China.]
“China’s internal internet repression is world-famous,’’ Sanders said in the statement. “China’s efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted.’’
The sharply worded statement comes just hours after a high-level delegation from President Donald Trump’s administration returned from a visit to Beijing. The visit was part of a broader attempt to stave off a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
Trump said Friday on Twitter that he’d be receiving a briefing on Saturday about the visit.
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.
Photo credit: Members of the ground service crew check a China United Airlines aircraft after it landed at the Nanyuan Airport in Beijing, China, December 4, 2015. Jason Lee / Reuters