Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Grab apologizes after map violates Vietnam's sovereignty


Ride hailing service provider Grab has apologized for using a map that mislabeled Vietnamese islands as China’s, saying it is fixing the information.

People booking Grab rides over the weekend discovered various misinformation on the app’s map.

Among islands in the Truong Sa archipelago, only Son Ca and Sinh Ton were labeled with their Vietnamese names while others carried English or Chinese names, including illegal ones.

Chu Thap (Fiery Cross) Reef, which China has occupied illegally, was labeled as "Nansha District," the name that China has been using illegally for Vietnam’s Truong Sa Islands.

Vanh Khan (Mischief) Reef was also labeled with the illegal Chinese name Meiji Jiao of Sansha, a city that China established illegally to administer islands including Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands) and Truong Sa (Spratly Islands).

A representative of Grab Vietnam said the map was provided by a third party, and its violations had nothing to do with Grab’s respect for Vietnam and its people.

"We have taken the complaints seriously and we are sincerely sorry," the representative said.

Vietnam has consistently affirmed that it has a full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands.

China seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has been illegally occupying a number of reefs in the Spratly Islands since 1988.

On Saturday, HCMC-based event organizer Peak was fined VND25 million (US$1,066) after a map it used for the international swimming contest Oceanman mislabeled Vietnam’s Hoang Sa and Truong Sa as belonging to China.

In September 2020, a Chinese person in the northern city of Hai Phong was fined VND12.5 million for posting a Vietnam map with sovereignty violations on social media.




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