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marriott-china-2018Dharamshala — Chinese authorities have reportedly blocked the Marriott's website and app after the hotel group listed Tibet as a country on a questionnaire sent to members.

The online ban began on Thursday, even after Marriott apologized profusely, insisting it respects and supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.

The company said it corrected the survey sent to members of its loyalty program that labeled regions including Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as separate countries.

According to the Chinese authorities, Marriott violated cyber security and advertising laws. China's tourism ministry has said that it "attaches great importance to this incident" and has reportedly ordered an investigation.

Chinese Tourism Ministry also threatened other hotel chains, saying, "Hotel companies must immediately review all information on their corporate websites and apps, and strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations to firmly stop such incidents from happening again. Officials must ... severely punish violators."

Chinese internet users caught the mishap last week, and according to the Chinese Communist Party run Global Times, have also called for a boycott of the hotel for “hurting national interest.”

The Chinese authorities' blocking of the Marriott's website and mobile app are just the latest example of China's attempt at controlling the narrative involving Tibet and censoring any ideas that go against the Communist Party's ideology. Many foreign companies have either been blocked completely, or have been forced in to compliance by introducing drastic filters to accommodate Beijing’s interests, such as Google and Facebook.

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E-mail: editor@thetibetpost.com