Fastfood chain McDonald's has apologised after a sign telling black people they 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, reports the BBC.
Last week, hundreds of Africans in Guangzhou were evicted from hotels and apartments after online rumours that coronavirus was spreading among African people.
Guangzhou is a hub for African traders buying and selling goods and is home to one of China's largest African communities.
The Guangdong provincial government has responded to concerns about discrimination by calling China and Africa good friends, partners and brothers.
It said it attached "great importance to some African countries' concerns and is working promptly to improve" its way of operating.
McDonald's also responded, saying the ban on black people was "not representative of our inclusive values".
"Immediately upon learning of an unauthorised communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant."
The restaurant added that it had conducted "diversity and inclusion" training in the branch.