It immediately drew ire from Chinese netizens who reportedly called for the hotel chain to be boycotted.
Caixin Global reports that Marriott's including Tibet in the drop-down list was particularly offensive to Weibo commenters as other brands from overseas have previously also listed Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as "countries" in an English-language context. "We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the incident", the hotel chain said.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), along with other Chinese political factions that developed in the early 20th century like the Kuomintang, saw industrialization and economic modernization as the main path for China to recover its prestige.
The Marriott website has since been shut down.
USA hotel chain Marriott's chief executive officer (CEO) apologized Thursday for listing Tibet, among other parts of China, as an independent country in a mail questionnaire, and promised to take measures to prevent such incidents.
The Chinese government frequently erupts with outrage at any perceived contradiction to its territorial claims, claiming such statements upset all of China's 1.4 billion citizens. "Officials must. severely punish violators". "Shanghai Cyberspace Administration will further assess the situation depending on the rectification result", the statement said.
"Marriott International respects Chinese sovereignty and its territorial integrity.We sincerely apologize for any actions that led to misunderstanding on the aforementioned stance", the company said in a statement on its official Weibo account.
The company apologized on Chinese social media platforms.
"We are also working closely and co-operating with the relevant government authorities in China".
The aviation authority also said it would require all foreign airlines operating routes to China to conduct comprehensive investigations of their websites, apps and customer-related information and "strictly comply with China's laws and regulations to prevent a similar thing from happening". "You first earned Chinese people's money, and then hurt our feelings".
The Xinhua report quoted market observers as saying it operates 270 hotels with almost 100,000 rooms in China.
Marriott now has more than 100 properties in China. "I should stress that Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet are parts of China".
It also said Shanghai's Huangpu district market supervision bureau was launching an investigation into Marriott, as it was suspected of violating China's cyber security law and advertisement law.
Taiwan, which calls itself the Republic of China, and goes under various names in worldwide organizations, has been self-ruled since 1949 in defiance of the Communist regime in the PRC.