A Chinese footwear firm has been forced to recall scores of sports shoes after it admitted they featured an inscription of the name of God in Arabic - a mistake that deeply offended Muslims.

Officials at Aile Group Shulemei Shoe & Plastic Co, a Hong Kong joint venture based in south eastern China's Fujian province, on Monday apologised for the error, said it had been corrected and all the shoes scrapped.

The embarrassing mistake led to the firm being blacklisted by Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Trade, although the shoes were for the domestic market and not for export.