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.
A McDonald’s restaurant in China has allegedly banned black people from entering the store out of fears that they might be coronavirus-carriers. Staff wearing face masks are seen at a McDonald’s restaurant after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan on April 8
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.’
People wearing masks walk on the street in African Village in Guangzhou of southern China
McDonald’s said in a statement today that the Guangzhou branch has temporarily closed due to the incident.
‘As a brand, as a company and as more than 2.2 million people serving nearly 120 countries around the world, this is not representative of our inclusive values,’ the statement read.
‘Immediately upon learning of an unauthorized communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant.
‘As part of the temporary closure of this restaurant, we will take the opportunity to further educate managers and employees on our values, which includes serving all members of the communities in which we operate.’
The US company’s franchise businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong have been mostly owned by a state-owned company CITIC since 2017.
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 notice, written in English, said the prohibition was established out of concerns for the customers’ health. A Chinese man wears a protective mask as he sits alone at a McDonald’s
As China prepares for a second wave of COVID-19 cases to hit their cities, Africans living in the commercial hub ‘Little Africa’ – found in the Yuexiu district – said they’ve been discriminated against and faced racism.
A U.S. Embassy security alert on Saturday said that ‘police ordered bars and restaurants not to serve clients who appear to be of African origin,’ and local officials have launched mandatory testing and self-quarantine for ‘anyone with ‘African contacts’.’
Some Africans have even described being suddenly evicted from their homes.
Since April 4, Guangzhou Health Commission has screened 4,553 African nationals currently living in the city, according to an official yesterday. A total of 111 residents were found to be infected with the coronavirus.
The city officials recorded 13,652 African citizens living in Guangzhou in December 2019. Less than half of them have remained in the city after the outbreak began, the authorities said yesterday.
‘We have provided African nationals with the exact same nucleic acid testing procedures as we do for Chinese and other foreign nationals,’ Chen Yongqiu, deputy chief police officer of Guangzhou, told the press.
‘We appointed the same quarantine hotels and staff members. There is no discrimination or racism.’
China was blasted by several African nations after Africans living in Guangzhou describe being shunned, targeted for additional COVID-19 screenings and evicted from their homes
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.
It comes as authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have been investigating a possible series of community transmission of the killer bug after five Nigerian nationals were infected with the deadly disease.
Four of them had recently visited the same eatery ‘Emma Food’ multiple times, announced the Guangzhou Health Commission on April 7. The restaurant owner, along with her daughter and another child, later tested positive for the contagion.
The Chinese city Guangzhou is situated 1,028 kilometres (638 miles) south of the former epicentre, Wuhan
The coronavirus epidemic erupted in China after dozens of people suffering ‘mysterious viral pneumonia’ were linked to the same seafood market in Wuhan. Guangzhou is situated 1,028 kilometres (638 miles) south of the former epicentre.
Guangzhou is also one of China’s major trading and garment industry hubs, attracting many merchants from around the world. The coastal city is also reportedly home to Asia’s largest African migrant population.
Experts have warned that the surge of ‘imported cases’ and asymptotic patients could trigger a new wave of outbreak, spoiling the nation’s progress to curb the epidemic.
The authority has urged officials to step up monitoring ‘scattered infections’ and possible ‘regional outbreaks’, triggered by non-native cases and patients with no symptoms.
This content was originally published here.