China, however, has an ax to grind generally-and now specifically because of an image on a T-shirt.
The apology came after a person posted pictures of the T-shirt on Chinese social media network Weibo, saying that Chinese territories, including South Tibet, the island of Taiwan and the South China Sea, were omitted from the map.
Self-ruled Taiwan is claimed by Beijing as Chinese territory, and has become one of China's most sensitive issues and a potential military flashpoint.
Gap is not the first global brand to bruise China's long fingers and tender toes, but it has apologized just the same.
U.S. clothes giant GAP said it was "extremely sorry" for selling a T-shirt with an "incomplete" map of China, after it was accused of being disrespectful to the country's territorial sovereignty.
[FREE DOWNLOAD: Keep your cool in a crisis with these 13 tips.]While Taiwan is self-governed, only a minority of countries recognize its sovereignty as a nation independent of China.
"We are terribly sorry for this unintentional mistake". It was unclear if the shirts in all of Gap's markets worldwide would also be destroyed.
Several other large Western brands apologized for errors related to territorial issues in China.
Beijing has pressured global businesses to make changes to their websites that are outside China, prompting a clash with the government of the U.S. Each of the companies has subsequently apologized.
The White House hit back at the push earlier this month, calling the demands placed on airlines "Orwellian nonsense".
Other than Marriott, the Chinese websites of US-based medical supplies company Medtronic and Spanish fashion brand Zara were found to have listed Taiwan as a "country" or as "Republic of China" and were ordered by the government to make corrections and apologise, state media Xinhua Agency has reported.