China targets Muji catalog because map lists Taiwan outside its borders

Crackdown on maps follows action against online country menus

  2014
A Muji store in Duesseldorf, Germany (photo courtesy of Jeschenko MedienAgentur Koeln GmbH)

A Muji store in Duesseldorf, Germany (photo courtesy of Jeschenko MedienAgentur Koeln GmbH) (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Catalogs by Japanese retailer Muji (無印良品) were destroyed in China because its map inside showed the country’s borders as leaving Taiwan and the disputed Diaoyutai Islands outside, reports said Tuesday.

The crackdown on maps follows a similar witch hunt against websites which listed Taiwan and Tibet as countries separate from China.

The latest target for corrective action by the Chinese authorities included maps which drew Taiwan, Tibet, the Diaoyutai, Hainan and disputed islands in the South China Sea as not being part of China, the Liberty Times reported.

One of the most prominent victims of the new campaign was Japanese retail chain Muji, whose free 2017 Autumn/Winter furniture catalog showed a “wrong version” of the map of Taiwan, in addition to not including the Diaoyutai in China and printing Hainan in a different color from the rest of China.

The topic was also reported by the Japanese media, which led to a wave of online comments criticizing China, wondering whether each country would have to use different maps, the Liberty Times reported.