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China dings Medtronic over Taiwan reference

China dings Medtronic over Taiwan reference

Separately, the same regulator that penalized Marriott - the Shanghai branch of the state cyberspace administration - accused Zara of placing Taiwan in a pull-down list of countries on its Chinese website.

USA -based hotel corporation Marriott International, who categorized Chinese territories as countries in a mail questionnaire, was ordered to remove all related content from its website and mobile app Wednesday.

In a move which is clearly meant to target bookings of the U.S. hotel giant, authorities in Shanghai on Thursday ordered Marriott to close its website and "conduct a thorough check on all contents".

"We welcome foreign companies to invest and operate in China, but they should then respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, our laws and regulations, and the feelings of the Chinese people", Lu added.

Previously, a Chinese internet user had posted a screen shot of Marriotts questionnaire, which listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as options under the question "Which country are you from?" "It was an inadvertent error with no business or political intention", the USA airline said in a statement, after talks between its senior managers and officials at the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

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China claims sovereignty over all four of territories, though Taiwan is self-ruled and has democratic elections.

A senior executive from one of the companies involved in the row, who asked not to be named or his employer identified, told the South China Morning Post that the issue was "serious" and that the crisis management cost, in both financial and human resources terms, would be "huge". "This is the minimum requirement of any company going to another country to carry out business and investment", he said. While Marriot now has more than 100 hotels under its different brands scattered across the country, it is keen as well to profit from swelling numbers of people from China travelling overseas. The questionnaire, which has violated China's cyber security and advertising laws, may lead to Marriott facing a maximum fine of one million Yuan ($153,822) or have its business license revoked. "We sincerely apologize for any actions that may have suggested otherwise".

Tibet is officially an "autonomous region" but firmly under Chinese control.

Hong Kong and Macau are former European colonies that have retained high degrees of autonomy since their return to China as special administrative regions in the late 1990s.

It has been reported that Chinese private sector online firms including Meituan and Dianping have removed Marriott from their hotel booking services.

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