Marriott has made a decision to stop offering service in the Xinjiang region of China. This makes it difficult for Uyghurs, an ethnic group that is persecuted by Chinese authorities and often targets for surveillance, detention, or deportation. Marriott said they were not operating “in any one country” because their services are available worldwide. However, this policy could put them at risk of legal action from human rights organizations like Amnesty International- raising questions about whether companies should be willing to sacrifice potential profits on behalf of ethical considerations
Marriott has made the decision to refuse service to Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic minority in China. This is because they are trying to flatter China for being so “wonderful”.
To appease China, Marriott refuses to serve Uyghurs.
on November 19, 2021 by Gary Leff
Marriott in Prague turned down a meeting of exiled Uyghurs advocating for the rights of the persecuted minority in China’s Xinjiang province, where over a million people have been imprisoned in detention camps, citing a wish to “stay neutral” on the matter.
The Chinese government has denounced the World Uyghur Congress for attempting to draw international attention to the genocide in China’s Xinjiang region. China’s decision to deny the conference demonstrates the country’s increasing capacity to extend authoritarian control beyond its boundaries by making it obvious to firms that breaking the party’s red lines would be costly.
The group received an email from the Prague Marriott Hotel denying their conference, as well as a site visit:
Thank you so much for stopping by today. Regrettably, I must notify you that we are unable to provide the premises. Our corporate management was advised on the whole situation. We are unable to host events of this kind with a political focus due to our commitment to political neutrality. Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding.
Back in 2017, the late Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson acknowledged the hotel shouldn’t be doing this.
Do we really want firms like Marriott, as well as our industry’s peers and others, to sit in our conference rooms and pass judgements or points of view on people? I fear to think that mine or Marriott’s responsibility is to tell you that your views are unacceptable in our hotels and that another person’s viewpoints are okay.
…With personnel who are equally different, we serve people from all over the globe, from all walks of life, with all points of view, equitably and with a genuine welcome. Our arms must be outstretched.
When Marriott was chastised for hosting an event hosted by a so-called hate organization, Sorenson stated this. When it came to China, Sorenson followed the Chinese Communist Party’s official stance on everything from Taiwan to prohibited books to repressive reactions to Covid-19.
Marriott’s new CEO is following in his footsteps. However, now that the rejection of the Prague Marriott to hold an event with the Uyghurs has been made public, the hotel group has issued an apology. Employees of the owning group, rather than the brand, were said to have been consulted by ‘corporate management.’ It’s also understandable why a Marriott owner would believe this was in line with the brand’s principles.
(Image courtesy of @crucker)
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