Taiwan demands Apple amend map app over its inclusion under China

Taiwan demands Apple amend map app over its inclusion under China

Summary: The Taiwanese government has expressed concerns over a mistake made by Apple on its new map app, which wrongly lists the island country as a province of China, demanding a correction as soon as possible.


Shortly after Apple's loyal fans in Taiwan in mid October welcomed new products, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c running iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone, their enthusiasm was dampened by the new map app's listing the island as "a province of China".

In addition to iOS 7, Apple released in mid September for its mobile devices, iPhones and iPads, the recently released Mac OS X Mavericks, which has been available for download for desktop and laptop users since October 23, makes the same mistake. Taiwanese users, who set the language for their devices as traditional Chinese, soon noticed that Taiwan is listed as "Taiwan Province, China" in simplified Chinese characters in the map app. In the English version, the same mistakes exist.

taiwan map
Apple's map on the latest OS shows Taiwan as part of China. (source: Liberty Times)

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed its office in San Francisco to contact Apple, demanding a correction as soon as possible, according to state-run Central News Agency.

"We'll make every effort on this issue. No compromise will be made over this kind of matter," said Kelly Hsieh, head of the ministry's Department of North American Affairs, adding that the description on the map about Taiwan is far from reality and degrades the country.

The issue has triggered online discussion, which slams Apple's China province tag. Many Taiwanese Apple fans expressed their bad feelings about being mistaken as Chinese, while some said they would disable the map function on their Apple devices.

In 2005, a similar mistake cited by the Google Maps service was corrected shortly after users of Taiwan expressed strong opposition.

Topics: Government Asia, Apple, iOS

Chiu Yu-Tzu

About Chiu Yu-Tzu

Based in Taipei, Chiu Yu-Tzu has been a journalist covering Asia's tech hardware hub Taiwan since mid-1990s. Currently, she contributes news reports about policies, technology industry, R&D updates, among others, to New York-based IEEE Spectrum, Washington D.C.-based Bloomberg BNA, and other media outlets.

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  • Last I checked, Apple also refused to list Jerusalem as the capital

    of Israel.
    • Israel Capital not Jerusalem

      It's Tel Aviv.
      And if you claim Jerusalem is Israel Capital, then welcome to world war 3. Jews vs Christian vs Moslem.
  • I'd be pissed too...

    It would be like the USA being listed as The Province of Great Britain. I guess Apple thought they were being politically correct, or they had some kid who passed with a C in geography working on it.
    • Perhaps...

      they looked at the number of potential customers in Taiwan and the number of potential customers in China and tried to work out who would be less offended...
      • Before...

        anyone starts flaming, that was supposed to be a tongue in cheek remark, not taken seriously!
  • They are reading the map wrong

  • Interesting

    It used to be that the only issue on which Chinese Communists and Nationalists agreed was that Taiwan was part of China (the traditional position of the latter is that the government in Taipei is the legitimate one for the whole country). I thought perhaps the DPP was back in power, but nope, it's the Kuomintang.
    John L. Ries
  • Region Claim ..... it's so dangerous

    Let's sit down and watch the show.
    1. Taiwan is a country, or a China's province ?
    2. Malvinas or Falkland ?
    3. Persian Gulf or Arab Gulf ?
    4. Palestine region, is a country, province or what ?
    And many more ....
    • Irredentism is a very common cause of war

      But it doesn't entirely fit the China/Taiwan conflict in that both the mainland and Taiwan governments officially claim to be the legitimate government of the whole country (one country, two governments).
      John L. Ries