The restaurant, located in the industrial city of Guangzhou, displayed a sign reading, “We’ve been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant,” the BBC reported Tuesday.
The incident comes as racial tensions mount in the city, which is a hub for African traders and home to China’s largest African communities.
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
In recent weeks, hundreds of Africans in the southern Chinese city were evicted from hotels and apartments after online rumors that the coronavirus was spreading among African people, community leaders told the outlet.
McDonald’s said the store was quickly shuttered when the company became aware of the disturbing notice and that the restaurant’s apparent ban on black people was “not representative” of the company’s “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,” a McDonald’s spokesperson said in a statement to the BBC.
In addition, the company said it is administering “diversity and inclusion” training at the store.