U.S. actress Sharon Stone
U.S. actress Sharon Stone - 
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Renita Jablonski: Christian Dior is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. Shares slipped a bit today as the high-end company is making some high-profile apologies to China. You may have heard about Sharon Stone making some comments about the earthquake in Sichuan. The red-carpet gaffe is causing plenty of red faces at Dior because Stone is a Dior model. Stephen Beard has more.

Stephen Beard: Sharon Stone had suggested the Sichaun earthquake was the result of bad karma. She implied the Chinese were being punished over Tibet. The remark provoked outrage in China.

And Christian Dior is bearing the brunt. The company uses the Hollywood Actress as the face of its Capture Totale skincare line. Its Chinese headquarters has been indundated with complaints.

The company has now dropped Stone from its Chinese ads and has apologised profusely. And so has she.

Geoff Dyer of the Financial Times in Beijing says Dior is clearly worried:

Geoff Dyer: Like a lot of luxury groups Christian Dior have invested heavily in China. They now have over 60 stores here. So it is very important for them not to alienate lots of Chinese customers.

The Chinese are touchy. Pro-Tibetan demonstrations during the Olympic torch relay in Paris led to a call for a boycott against all French goods.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.