After widespread news reports of a McDonald’s in China refusing to serve black people and essentially banning them from the restaurant, the company has issued an apology for the actions of that franchise, according to MSN.
The action by the restaurant in southern China created outrage online as people saw the reports of discriminatory treatment toward Africans in the city.
“We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant,” read the notice, which hung outside the McDonald’s in Guangzhou. “For the sake of your health, consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused.”
Again, for those who still doubt that Black people and particularly #AfricansinChina are being targeted we feel it is our duty to share this. A sign at a @McDonalds restaurant seems to make this perfectly clear pic.twitter.com/FaveKrdQHi
— Black Livity China (@BlackLivityCN) April 11, 2020
Tensions have built up between police and Africans in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou. The animosity started after local officials announced a cluster of COVID-19 cases in a neighborhood with a large migrant population. The chain has since apologized and a spokesman for McDonald’s told AFP that the notice was “not representative of our inclusive values”.
“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,” McDonald’s said in a statement to BBC. The restaurant added that it had conducted “diversity and inclusion” training in the branch.
Last week, hundreds of Africans in the southern Chinese city were evicted from hotels and apartments after online rumors circulated that coronavirus had been spreading among African people. Guangzhou is a hub for African traders buying and selling goods and is home to one of China’s largest African communities.
The South China Morning Post reported that this alert was sent to blacks in the area: “The US Consulate General advises African-Americans or those who believe Chinese officials may suspect them of having contact with nationals of African countries to avoid the Guangzhou metropolitan area until further notice.”