TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As Costco prepares to set up shop in China, a Chinese netizen is demanding that the company formally apologize for an apology letter referring to Taiwan as a country it sent to a pro-Taiwan NGO in 2016.
In 2016, Washington D.C.-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) requested that Costco stop referring to Taiwan as a "Province of China," in its online job application form. In response, Costco Senior Vice President Patrick Callans sent a letter to the NGO wrote, "The oversight will be corrected. (And it was simply an oversight, not any commentary on Taiwan's status. As you probably know, we have retail locations in Taiwan and very much consider it a country.)"
A Shanghai-born woman surnamed Ma now working the United States somehow found the two-year-old news and forwarded it to Chinese media outlets, including NetEase and Sina, demanding that Costco apologize to all the people of China for its apology letter. Ma wrote, "While it (Costco) is trying to make money off of Chinese people, it shamelessly expresses Taiwan's stance on independence, Costco should apologize to all Chinese people for this."
This month, Costco signed an agreement with Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao (Group) Ltd., Co. formally signed an investment agreement to establish a China investment headquarters in Pudong's subdistrict of Kangqiao. It is expected that this will lay the groundwork for Costco's first store in China which is slated to be opend in Shanghai in April of 2019, according to PlanetRetail.
Costco has yet to comment on Ma's demands.
2016 letter sent to FAPA. (Internet image)