Blog: Chris Brook-CarterChina and Taiwan - politicians spills their pints

Chris Brook-Carter | 1 July 2004

The long-running tension between Taiwan and China has spread into the beer market. China has refused to allow Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. (TTL) to sell Taiwan Beer in the country.

As China grows as a drinks market, it must continue to convince the global community that it is a stable and open marketplace, free from this type of political bias and wrangling.

China considers the self-governing island of Taiwan as a rebel province unworthy of statehood and rejects the Taiwan name in any form. TTL's application to register its “Taiwan Beer” trademark in the mainland was rejected on grounds that products cannot be named after “provinces”. Taiwan's only brewer has re-applied but says Beijing is stalling for political reasons. TTL is considering taking the matter up with the World Trade Organisation.

Speaking to Reuters News, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said yesterday that TTL's application had been rejected on the basis of its name. “Names of geographic locations of county level and above cannot be used as trademarks,” said spokesman Li Weiyi.


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