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Companies cannot stray from official map

By Zhang Zhouxiang | China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-10 07:53

A customer exits a 7-Eleven convenience store in Shanghai, on March 30, 2015. [Photo/IC]

On Friday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to media inquiries about the fine and warning issued to the Chinese subsidiary of the Japanese company 7& i Holdings that is the operator of 7-Eleven convenience stores in China, for violating China's Regulation on Map Management,

The Credit China website, which publicizes details of administrative penalties, shows the company displayed problematic maps on its official website and the entrance to its company offices in Beijing. The maps contain so many mistakes that they could even be listed as an index for mistakes to be avoided.

In the map on its official website, it skipped the islands in South China Sea and the Diaoyu Islands, made mistakes on China's boundaries in Aksai Chin and Southern Tibet, and portrayed Taiwan as "an independent country". The map at its company entrance had all the mistakes except the last one.

The Beijing Municipal Commission of Planning and Natural Resources fined the company 150,000 yuan ($23,520) for the two wrong deeds.

The difference between the two maps suggests two possibilities. One, the company knows China's stance on sovereignty issues well, which is why it avoided portraying Taiwan as an independent country on the map at its company entrance. Yet it just turned a blind eye to the same mistake on its official website, putting the wrong map there as if no one would notice that.

Two, its executives know that Taiwan is part of China and tried to avoid wrongdoings on the issue, but were so ignorant that they cared little about the other mistakes on the map.

The company has said that it "is taking the issue seriously and making sure to prevent a recurrence".

Upholding the principle of "one China" should be done in deeds, not just words. It is the obligation of all companies doing businesses on the Chinese mainland to obey the laws and regulations, and making sure they are fully familiar with them is an indispensable part of that.

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