When Austin tried to impose its own regulations on Uber, they learned that they were too small a market to matter. California and New York may be able to influence a company’s behavior, but Austin cannot. As regulation is increasingly global, the most important markets set the rules.
China is the next big thing. That was true 15 years ago, and it will be true 15 years from now. But for companies making a big bet in the country, Beijing is able to exercise global sway.
Marriott and Delta got called out by China for listing territories they claim sovereignty over as independent entities including Taiwan and Tibet.
Marriott had their website shut down locally while they had to go review materials to ensure the issue isn’t replicated elsewhere. News reports are now hunting down airlines doing the same.
Apparently after Marriott apologized a Marriott employee working on the Marriott Rewards twitter account ‘liked’ a tweet by Friends of Tibet. Normally when companies engage in disciplinary proceedings against an individual employee they refuse to comment offering that such matters are confidential.
In this case, Marriott’s president and managing director of Asia-Pacific wants everyone to know the employee will be fired,
“Due to the mistake of an individual employee, our official [Twitter] account wrongly ‘liked’ the tweet supporting Tibet independence and misled the public. [We] have now suspended this employee and dismissal proceedings are under way,” he was quoted as saying.
More than being concerned that listing Taiwan and Tibet as separate entities “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people,” China is flexing its muscles and showing that Western companies will ingratiate themselves.