Then after a Marriott employee working the Marriott Rewards twitter account ‘liked’ a tweet by Friends of Tibet the company was letting everyone know that employee was being fired rather than the usual corporate response of not commenting on personnel matters.
Now Marriott is proactively removing banned books out of fear of offending Chinese bureaucrats.
As recently as Sunday, hollow, cardboard copies of “Bloody Harvest: the Killing of Falun Gong for Their Organs” appeared on bookshelves in the lounge of the Element by Westin hotel in Chongli, a ski area about three hours northwest of the Chinese capital that is being developed as an Olympics site. China branded the Falun Gong an “evil cult” in 1999 after about 10,000 followers surrounded the Communist Party headquarters in Beijing in a silent protest.
After being informed about the titles’ presence by Bloomberg News, the hotel pulled them down and alerted the local Public Security Bureau, Element Chongli said in an emailed statement Tuesday. “As we are assisting the PSB with their enquiries we will not be commenting further,” the hotel said via a Marriott representative.
If you do business in China, you follow Chinese rules. And China’s strong reaction in forcing their website to go down for a week – no doubt causing their hotels significant lost business – taught Marriott a lesson that they needed to collaborate with the regime or face consequences.
In other news there is no truth to the rumor that Marshal Pétain is next in line to replace Arne Sorenson as CEO of Marriott.