Marriott’s websites, apps reopen after correcting wrongly listed parts of Chinese territory as countries

The cyberspace administration of Shanghai said on Wednesday that Marriott International has almost finished inspection on the content of its Chinese website and app, after it was investigated for categorizing Chinese territories as countries in a mail questionnaire, angering its Chinese members, Xinhua reported.

Marriott said it will reopen its app on Jan. 18 after a seven-day shutdown ordered by Shanghai authorities.

The U.S.-based hotel corporation said it will give its Chinese staff more responsibilities to supervise information releases, especially China-related information, and improve the information approval process.

Marriott will lead its staff to enhance awareness about China’s Cybersecurity Law and other related laws and regulations, and strictly implement them. Meanwhile, it will carefully inspect the online services provided by third-party organizations in the future.

The corporation also pledged to abide by Chinese laws and regulations, fully fulfill its legal duties as an online information provider in China, and strengthen training and education on China among its staff around the globe.

Marriott will establish a channel to better reflect customer suggestions and feedback to hotel operators via both its Chinese website and app. In addition, Marriott’s communication with the Chinese government will be enhanced, and it will actively seek advice and guidance from it.

Marriott sent out a mail questionnaire to its Chinese members last Tuesday morning, which listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan as options under the question: “Which country are you from?” Screenshots of the questionnaire posted on microblog site Weibo soon went viral and stirred a strong public backlash.

Later, the cyberspace administration and market supervision bureau of Shanghai’s Huangpu District said that they had conducted interviews with the hotel company’s representatives in China, and ordered all related content to be removed from its website and mobile app.