McDonald’s has apologised after black people were banned from entering a branch of the fast food restaurant in China.
Footage posted on social media showed a man holding a sign which said black people were barred from the branch in Guangzhou, and they should notify the police for medical isolation.
The note said: “We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant.
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
“For the sake of your health consciously notify the local police for medical isolation. Please understand the inconvenience caused.”
The US consulate in China has urged African-Americans to avoid the area until further notice and warned that people of seemingly African origin were also not being served in bars.
The consulate said local officials had launched a round of mandatory tests for coronavirus, followed by mandatory self-quarantine, for anyone with “African contacts” regardless of their recent travel history or previous quarantine completion.
African-Americans have also reported that some businesses and hotels refuse to do business with them, it added.
“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,” it said.
“Without advance warning, officials might require such individuals to submit to a COVID-19 test and undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine at their own expense.”
The minister of foreign affairs in Ghana, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, condemned the discrimination and said she had requested a meeting with the Chinese ambassador for Ghana, Shi Ting Wang.
Chinese police are said to have eased up the targeted treatment of Africans after China’s vice minister for foreign affairs met a group of African ambassadors on Monday.
A statement from Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “At the meeting, it was announced that the Government of the People’s Republic of China had taken note of happenings and was taking immediate steps to stop the targeting of and ill-treatment meted out to Africans, particularly our compatriots in the Guangdong Province.”
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A spokesman for McDonald’s Corporation told Sky News that the incident at its branch in China was “not representative of our inclusive values”.
“Immediately upon learning of an unauthorised communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant,” the spokesman said.
“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.”