Footage of Africans sleeping on the streets of Guangzhou has caused outrage online. Now, African governments are putting pressure on Beijing to take action.
Fears of a second wave of coronavirus in China have led to widespread racism and xenophobia against African populations. Reports of Africans being forced out of their homes in Guangzhou, China have caused fear amongst its African community and backlash across social media.
As China faces more cases of the novel coronavirus, much of the blame has been placed on foreign nationals who are being accused of importing new cases into the country. Guangzhou, nicknamed "Little Africa," has the highest population of African immigrants—largely from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda—who have long been a target of racial discrimination. Tensions further escalated over the weekend when Chinese state media reported that five Nigerians had contracted the virus and passed it onto a local restaurant owner.
According to CNN, various businesses began denying services to African foreign nationals and several were evicted from their homes in the Southern Chinese city—despite many having no confirmed contact with the virus or recent travel history. Images and video footage, showing Africans being forcefully displaced and sleeping outside with their luggage, has warranted angry responses on social media, with people denouncing the widespread mistreatment of Black people in the country.