McDonald’s has apologized after a branch in China’s industrial city of Guangzhou barred black people from entering due to COVID-19. The sign, which has since sparked outrage said the food chain has “been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant.”
The sign has since been removed and the branch closed down. In an email, McDonald’s stated that the sign “is not representative of our inclusive values.”
McDonald’s further added that it will use the closure to “further educate the managers and employees on values, which includes serving all members of the communities in which we operate.”
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
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has been involved in such controversy. According to CNN, last November, it pulled an ad in Portugal that used the words “Sundae Bloody Sundae” to promote a Halloween dessert. Bloody Sunday is the name for the day in 1972 on which British soldiers shot unarmed protesters in Derry, Northern Ireland, during the Troubles — resulting in 14 deaths.
Hundreds of African nationals living in China said they have been evicted from their apartments and hotels in Guangzhou. They have described the development as discriminatory.
Africa has recorded 10,759 COVID-19 cases out of which over 1,174 have recovered with 520 deaths as of April 15, 2020, according to WHO.
Guangzhou houses one of the largest African communities in China. African traders, especially those from the informal sector, buy most of their goods from the area to the continent. Local Chinese health officials have raised concerns about a possible second outbreak of the COVID-19 over the increase in the number of imported cases.
People traveling to Guangzhou are required to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days as part of measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.