A clothing shop in Beijing has riled up netizens after images of its storefront sign reading “Chinese not admitted, except for staff” was posted online.
A shop assistant explained to the official Beijing Youth Daily that they posted the notice because they wanted to avoid plagiarism from competitors. Another employee said that some Chinese customers are “too annoying” and that “Chinese women often try lots of clothes but end up buying nothing.”
A reporter for the paper entered the store posing as a customer but was turned down by staff, who said they didn’t sell clothes to Chinese nationals.
The employee said the sign had been put up about a week ago after a Chinese customer stole a foreigner’s wallet and demanded that the shopkeepers pay 5000 USD in compensation.
“We didn’t mean to debase our nationals, but sometimes they have gone too far”, one employee said.
On Weibo, most netizens were outraged over the shop’s tactics, questioning “Is this still China?” and calling on the store to be closed down.
Li Xiandong, professor from China University of Political Science and Law quoted in the paper, explained that while the sign is discriminatory, the owner hasn’t broken any laws as there is no legal ban on racial discrimination in China.
“This may not be regarded as illegal, but this is extremely improper judging from cultural aspects,” Li said.
Around 2003, other stores on the shopping street Yabao Lu reportedly posted signs reading “No Chinese entrance” in Chinese and “Welcome!” in English.
[Image via Weibo]