A McDonald’s restaurant in China has allegedly banned black people from entering the store out of fears that they might be coronavirus carriers.
A video recently circulating online showed a customer holding a sign that read: ‘We’ve been informed from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant.’ The store is believed to be located in the southern Chinese city Guangzhou.
The footage sparked uproar online after the fast-food chain was accused of fuelling the rising xenophobia, particularly towards African nationals, in the country.
McDonald‘s said the notice ‘is not representative of our inclusive values’. The US fast-food giant has temporarily closed the branch, according to a statement.
The incident came after African officials confronted China publicly and in private over racist mistreatment of Africans in the Chinese city of Guangzhou.
The notice, written in English, said the prohibition was established out of concerns for the customers’ health.
‘For the sake of your health, consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused.’
The video, uploaded by a Twitter account Black Livity China, sparked outrage on social media.
‘Banning black people is f****** insane. The world needs to know about this. China calls racism all the time, this is REAL racism,’ one commenter wrote.
Another one read: ‘I feel sorry for what black people are going through in China. I’m Chinese, but I absolutely support you to fight for your rights. No one should be treated like this.’
Nigeria’s House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila (right) spoke with Ambassador Zhou Pingjian (left) last week to discuss his concerns over racism
Africans in Guangzhou also claimed they haves shunned by others in public and targeted for additional COVID-19 tests without ever seeing the results.
‘There is an escalating scrutiny of foreign nationals, but they are targeting the Africans and the African American community. Since last Thursday we saw 114 new cases reported in Guangzhou of coronavirus infections and 16 of those were Africans,’ said journalist Sarah Clarke for Al Jazeera.
‘We’ve seen a number of reports from social media from members of the African community in Guangzhou making complaints of mistreatment, arrests, eviction and being denied access to restaurants and hotels, and some students are even claiming to be living on the streets and being denied food,’ she added.