A McDonald’s franchise in Guangzhou had barred Black customers from entering by putting up a stand with an official notice that seemed to be addressed from the headquarters.
In mid-April, videos began spiraling out of control on social media displaying a seemingly official notice with the McDonald’s counter in the background. This notice read, “We’ve been informed that from now on, Black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant.” While the rest of the text was out of the shot in most pictures, the last sentence read, “For the sake of your health, consciously notify the local police for medical isolation; please understand the inconvenience caused.”
As soon as the McDonald’s headquarters found out about this outright racial sign in their Chinese franchise, they ‘temporarily’ closed it down. After accessing the situation, a McDonald’s spokesman apologized on behalf of the franchise and said that the notice was not representative of the company’s inclusive values.
Also, McDonald’s took to social media to announce that they had acted immediately upon learning that the Chinese franchise had put up an unauthorized communication to their guest.
Racial Tension Have Escalated in Guangzhou
Guangzhou, for the most part, is an industrial city. For this reason alone, it hosts among the largest Black communities. This city has been serving as an industrial hub for African traders, most of whom travel to China several times in a single year, commonly on short-term business visas. Other than these, there are several African American students studying in universities or living in China as part of a student exchange program.
Even though many Black people in Guangzhou had reported to have not traveled recently or have had no contact with coronavirus patients, they were forcibly taken into a 14-day quarantine. Some of these instances also involved violent arrests.
According to Black people in Guangzhou, the strict measures taken by the Chinese governments also led to a rise in fear among the locals. This resulted in Black people being forcibly evicted from their homes or being denied services at hotels or restaurants. Of course, no one can say for sure, but this is probably what led to the McDonald’s franchise putting up a sign as well.
Either way, McDonald’s headquarters have temporarily shut down operations for this particular franchise. According to their spokesperson, they intend to “further educate managers and employees on our values, which include serving all members of the communities in which we operate.”