U.S. hotel chain Marriott International apologized on Tuesday after it listed Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Tibet as individual nations in a customer questionnaire.
"We are terribly sorry about the questionnaire, and we realize the mistake may disappoint members of our rewards program in China," the company said in a post on Sina Weibo on Tuesday afternoon.
The error was first discovered by an internet user identified as "Zhongjusaodi" who told the Huanqiu news website that he had received an email inviting Marriott Rewards members to take part in a survey.
When he had attempted to do so on a website for the survey, he was asked to select his location, which is when he saw the four regions were listed as countries independent from China.
The netizen said in a post on Sina Weibo early on Tuesday that he had complained to the hotel company about the mistake several times, but nothing was changed.
By late Tuesday, his post had been forwarded more than 15,000 times, with many internet users making comments to protest the company's actions.
In its apology, Marriott International said the questionnaire had been taken offline and would be revised. "We feel deeply sorry for any inconvenience caused by the incident," the post read.
A netizen identified as "Yuyihuadie", who is also a member of the Marriott Rewards program and received the questionnaire invite, told Huanqiu she could not access the survey on Tuesday.
Marriott International is not the first international enterprise that has made such a mistake.
In May, Coca-Cola put the names of China and Taiwan on separate labels on a drinks dispenser at an exhibition center in Atlanta in the United States, raising strong objections from Chinese netizens.