- April 15, 2020 / 3 min readAs the row escalated, posts widely shared online showed a sign at fast food chain McDonald's saying black people were not allowed to enter the restaurant.
Burger chain McDonald’s has apologised after a sign telling black people were banned from entering a branch in southern China prompted outrage online, following reports of discriminatory treatment towards Africans in the city.
Tensions have flared between police and Africans in the southern metropolis of Guangzhou after local officials announced a cluster of COVID-19 cases in a neighbourhood with a large migrant population.
As the row escalated, posts widely shared online showed a sign at fast food chain McDonald's saying black people were not allowed to enter the restaurant.
The chain apologised and a spokesman for McDonald's told AFP that the notice was "not representative of our inclusive values".
In an emailed statement, McDonald's said it removed the sign and temporarily closed the Guangzhou restaurant "immediately upon learning of an unauthorised communication to our guests."
Several Africans have told AFP they had been forcibly evicted by police from their accommodation, refused service at shops and restaurants, and were subject to mass testing and arbitrary quarantines.
The row has also prompted a diplomatic flurry, with ambassadors and envoys from more than 20 African countries meeting assistant foreign minister Chen Xiaodong on Monday. Chen promised at the meeting to "lift the health management (measures) on African people, except the confirmed patients", according to a foreign ministry statement.
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