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McDonald's apologizes after restaurant in China bans black customers

It happened in Guangzhou, where tensions have reportedly been running high between locals and Africans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit: AP
FILE - This July 18, 2018, file photo, shows a sign outside a McDonald's restaurant.

McDonald's is apologizing after a sign appeared at one of its restaurants in China saying that black people were not allowed inside, multiple news outlets report. It comes in a region where racial tensions between locals and Africans are reportedly running high during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A video posted to social media showed the sign at the restaurant in Guangzhou.

"We've been informed that from now on black people are not allowed to enter this restaurant. For the sake of your health consciously notify the local police for medical isolation, please understand the inconvenience caused," the sign read in the video posted last Friday. The person shooting the video then handed the sign to a woman dressed a McDonald's coat and hat.

Guangzhou is home to one of China's largest African communities, according to BBC News, and it's a major hub for African traders. But racial tensions are running high. Hundreds of Africans in Guangzhou were reportedly evicted from hotels and apartments after rumors that the new coronavirus was spreading among African people.

The U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou has warned that increased concerns over COVID-19 has led to multiple incidents of discrimination against people who appear to be of African origin.

"The U.S. Consulate General advises African-Americans or those who believe Chinese officials may suspect them of having contact with nationals of African countries to avoid the Guangzhou metropolitan area until further notice," the consulate said.

In a statement to CBS News, McDonald's said the sign did not meet 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," the statement read.

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