Versace apologises for t-shirts labelling Hong Kong and Macao as countries
Versace has apologised and pulled a range of t-shirts after a Chinese actress cut ties with the brand because of how they described Hong Kong and Macao.
The places are both former European colonies that were returned to China in the late 1990s – but the Italian fashion house described them as independent countries.
On the t-shirts, the brand listed cities where they have stores, alongside the country each city is in.
It listed Hong Kong as being in Hong Kong and Macau as being in Macao.
Both Hong Kong and Macao are semi-autonomous territories that have separate identities, but they are controlled by China.
The brand was accused of challenging Chinas territorial integrity at a sensitive time.
Protesters in Hong Kong are have taken to the streets all summer, motivated in large part by a desire to protect their way of life from interference by the central government in Beijing.
In response to the t-shirts, the studio for actress Yang Mi, who had been a brand ambassador for Versace, said in a Weibo (a popular social media platform in China) post that it had sent notice to Versace to terminate their contract.
The post said: The motherlands sovereignty and territorial integrity are sacred and inviolable.
Versace apologised in a post on their own Weibo page and said that the shirts had been removed from all sales channels and destroyed.
Its our companys negligence and we express deep apology for the impact it caused.
Versace reiterates that we love China and resolutely respect Chinas territory and sovereignty.
Versace is not the first foreign company to face flak over how it describes Hong Kong.