McDonald's issued an apology this week after a branch in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou put up a sign declaring that "black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant." African residents of the business hub say they are being targeted over the coronavirus pandemic and the McDonald's sign was one of many cases of harassment and discrimination, the BBC reports. McDonald's says it temporarily closed the restaurant after learning of the "unauthorized" sign and carried out "diversity and inclusion" training. With China now claiming that the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the country are from overseas, all African residents of Guangzhou have been ordered to undergo testing and enter 14-day self-quarantines, regardless of their travel history.
Residents of the city's "Little Africa" neighborhood say that after rumors circulated last week that African travelers were spreading the virus, hundreds of Africans ended up sleeping on the street after landlords and hotel owners kicked them out. "My friends have complained that they have gone to the shops and are then being told 'no-no, you can't enter here," Cameroonian citizen Herman Assa tells Deutsche Welle. "They have been told that Africans now have the highest epidemic rate and are importing the disease back into China." After a backlash from African countries that complained about their citizens being mistreated, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China has "zero tolerance" for discrimination. (Read more China stories.)