Canada said it regretted the "misunderstanding" after a diplomat ordered custom T-shirts featuring the word Wuhan over the Wu-Tang Clan's batlike symbol.
Images of the T-shirt logo created last year recently began circulating on China's Weibo social media platform, with users describing it as depicting a bat without mentioning the hip-hop group, Reuters reported.
"We are very shocked by this and have lodged representations with Canada, asking for a thorough investigation and a clear explanation," foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in response to a question at a daily briefing on Monday.
Covid-19 is believed to have originated in an undetermined bat species with the first clusters in January 2020 traced to a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
But Beijing is sensitive about being blamed for the global pandemic, after the US claimed coronavirus leaked from a lab.
A spokesperson for Canada's foreign service told Reuters on Tuesday that logo was not intended to represent a bat.
"The T-shirt logo designed by a member of the Embassy shows a stylized W, and is not intended to represent a bat," the spokesperson said.
"It was created for the team of Embassy staff working on repatriation of Canadians from Wuhan in early 2020.
"We regret the misunderstanding."