Taiwan complains to Apple over "China province" tag

October 29, 2013
Residents wait in line to purchase the Apple iPhone 5 outside a store in Taipei on December 14, 2012

Taiwan said Tuesday it had lodged a complaint with Apple over new iPhone and computer operating systems that describe the island as a province of China.

The move came after local Internet users found that maps on the iOS 7 and version 10.9 of OS X ("Mavericks") automatically displayed "China Taiwan province" in simplified Chinese characters whenever they searched for "Taiwan".

"It does not fit with the reality," Kelly Hsieh, the head of the 's Department of North American Affairs, told reporters.

"We've made representations to Apple. Matters like this must not be compromised."

Bravo, a Taiwan PR company handling Apple's media relations on the island, said the tech giant had no comment.

The name issue has been the subject of a highly contentious debate between Taiwan and mainland China since their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war.

Taiwan has styled itself as the "Republic of China", a name recognised by 23 countries, but is regarded by Beijing as part of mainland China waiting to be reunified by force if necessary.

Their ties have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou of the current Beijing-friendly government took office in 2008 with a promise to beef up trade and tourism links. Ma was re-elected in January 2012.

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