2008 Beijing Olympic Games

No blacks or Mongolians for bars, or no sources for SCMP?

From Beijing Boyce:

Tom Miller of the South China Morning Post reported today that bars in central Beijing have been instructed to not serve blacks or Mongolians during the Olympics:

Beijing authorities are secretly planning to ban black people and others it considers social undesirables from entering the city’s bars during the Olympic Games, a move that would contradict the official slogan, “One World, One Dream”.

Bar owners near the Workers’ Stadium in central Beijing say they have been forced by Public Security Bureau officials to sign pledges agreeing not to let black people enter their premises...

...The owners of five bars that cater to an international clientele in the Sanlitun area separately told me today that they had not been contacted by police recently about enforcing such a ban or signing a related pledge, though one said he had been asked several months ago to not serve blacks.

It is highly plausible that some low level cops have issued such instructions, especially with the current state of high alert in Beijing making officials and government agencies paranoid and very nervous about foreigners.

But it seems highly unlikely that anyone with any real authority would "secretly" plan "to ban black people" from the city's bars.

The sources of the South China Morning Post are anonymous, and the paper does not seem to have any physical evidence to support the article.

Beijing Boyce did some further phoning around to speak to bar owners and journalists, and no one could find any evidence supporting the South China Morning Post story.

There are currently 38 Comments for No blacks or Mongolians for bars, or no sources for SCMP?.

Comments on No blacks or Mongolians for bars, or no sources for SCMP?

This sounds incredible... How could they tell a mongol from someone of other PRC nationalities? Check ID cards?

That's one specious Beijing bar article disproved this week. What about the Newsweek story on Maggie's, written by a rival Ritan Park bar owner/operator without disclosure?

A couple of months ago, the Shanghai police were stopping by Chinese-owned bars and restaurants that have a foreign clientele, asking them to be on the lookout for suspicious activities from their black customers, and anyone from Xinjiang. So far as I know, the police did not ask the same of the foreign-owned venues. But, then again, my sample size is small: I know two Chinese bar owners, and one foreign owner.

I also know that - if an unknown reporter called to verify the story - they'd all deny it.

Likewise, I believe the SCMP story is true. And I also believe that others couldn't verify it. Noboody should be surprised by the latter - it's quite common that a source for one reporter will deny a story to another, whether out of loyalty, or - often in China - because they regret the initial leak after seeing it in print.

Shanghaiist has this story as well, with Kobe Bryant depicted as a possible black athlete who might be barred from bars near Workers' Stadium.
The Guardian had an article last year about a paramilitary operation in Sanlitun by Beijing police aimed at Africans. The Guardian's Beijing reporter quotes the South China Morning Post in her article, mentioning that one of the black people beaten and detained was Mr. Whiteman (Yes, that's his real name!), who turned out to be the son of Grenada's ambassador.

Here's the link:

Sorry, but I find this article very hard to believe. Somebody is spreading false rumours to discredit China and the Games. That, I think, is the most likely explanation for this.

Well, I'd say it is highly unprofessional for a source like CNN to publish such "news". In a world where the information is sold for money, I find the news hardly reliable these days. They can say anything as long as it wins attention, especailly about a country whose law system is unable to protect itself from false reports.

Please, anyone who knows China would know the "face" is so important for them when dealing with foreigners that they would not do anything this stupid to ruin their image.

These inaccurate news are just leading to an unstablized international relationship, which by the way most media would love to see. Its consequences are severe and long-lasting, such as the anti-French feeling in China right now, caused by anti-Chinese protests during the torch realy by angry French agitated by false video clips of Han Chinese cracking down Tibetans, which later proved to be video clips of incidents in Nepal, as the German medias who sent out the video apologized.

Something should be dealt to ensure that the public receives less distortion of reality.

The article is not hard to believe if viewed within the context of last year's incident.
(That's one reason why I posted the Guardian link.)
The reason black people were being targeted that night last year was because a significant number of Africans were responsible for drug dealing over a period of time in the Sanlitun area.
With drug dealing and prostitution rampant in Sanlitun, one can understand why black men and Mongolian women (see Newsweek's article about the closing of Maggies) would be unwelcome during the Olympic Games.

as far as my experience tells me, chinese men and women are also involved in prostitution and drug dealing, as are white foreigners and weathermen. should bars refuse to serve all chinese, white westerners and employees of cctv 9?

I think these rumors are false, designed to discredit the Chinese in the lead up to the Olympics, with the aim of scaring people away from attending.

There's no need to try to discredit the regime in Beijing with fasle rumors, as they are already doing a mighty fine job of discrediting themselves, don't ya think?

There's an interesting conversation about anti-China 'discourse' taking place over at the www.underthejacaranda.wordpress.com site that's worth checking out too. It's related to this story in a way, because it looks at the reasons why China is so often portrayed so negatively by the western media.

1. No. The story just isn't real. While it seems likely enough there was a conversation between an official or police officer and bar owner (Cheers perhaps?), every bar owner I have spoken with says it's bs. "Four waiguoren called me today asking the same question," said the owner of Luga's. "But I haven't heard anything like what's described in the article."

2. To the Village Grouch: Maggie's and The Stone Boat are NOT, by any measure, competitors. The Stone Boat doesn't even sell hot dogs.

xanadu: I think in this case "Mongolians" refers to people from (Outer) Mongolia. I guess they could be distinguished quite easily by checking their level of Chinese language profiency.

Well, we can prove it, can't we?

Let's find some black guy or have some black guy volunteer to show up in a Beijing bar, and have him take a dated photograph with the owner or something.

One thing is indisputable: Africans make up the most visible and openly brazen drug dealers in southern China. They are aggressive at it. I can only guess they continue this way because they only approach other foreigners and hang out in foreigner frequented bars/clubs and therefore do not fear the police. You don't see them doing the same to the average Wang on the street.

As a European we enjoy a good relationship with the Chinese community as such our company headoffice is located in a chinese colony HoNG kong.If the Chinese policy makers is secretly adopting such racial policy then all African and Commonwealth Countries should boycott the Beijing games, not only for this issue but also for not supporting the recent vote on boycotts against Zimbabwe.I sincerely hope that Sudan will take note of these events.

Some of you have really low standards of 'proof.' Neither the SCMP rumors nor Beijing Boyce's telephone calls 'proves' anything.

1. If SCMP hears and publishes rumors, it proves nothing.
2. If Beijing Boyce places five phone calls, it proves nothing.
3. If bar owners report being told not to entertain blacks and Mongolians, it proves nothing.
4. If other bar owners deny being told the same, it proves nothing.

Defer judgment until you know for sure. It's better to ask questions than jump to conclusions.

Another test:

Do you have any Mongolian or African friends? Ask them whether they've had difficulty obtaining visas this year. (Bar rumors? Not easy to 'prove.' Visas? A little more concrete, don't you think?)

Call a visa agent, tell them you want to purchase 25 F visas for your employees. When asked for their nationalities, say, "Five African males, ten Mongolian females, and ten Russian females."

See what happens next.

Tom did an update yesterday:

Police in Beijing's popular Sanlitun bar district deny they are conducting a racist campaign ahead of the Olympics, as another bar owner revealed he had been ordered not to let in blacks.


what a confusing decision...
how about the slogan of the sports..?

I live in HK but can barely even stand to look at the SCMP anymore. I don't think they could find a bunch of more misinformed, misguided journalists even if they brought over the entire "Washington Times" lock, stock and barrel. They used to have some decent stringers but I don't even see those anymore. And if you really want a laugh, read anything by that Larry Brahm character. Har har har!

I dont understand why the western ppl here trying to murk the difference between Racism and Racial profiling. Ban the bars from serving Black ppl is racism, ask the bar owners to keep an eye on blacks is racial profiling, which is being done in each and every airport in the United states of America.

I cannot but wonder how you guys can be so sure that this 'racist campaign' is a hoax simply because there is no tangible 'proof' (yet). Do you think the bar owners that have been approached would actually jeopardize their business and livelihood by going public???

My black friend, son of a diplomat, has lots of experiences of harassment by the police, particularly in the Sanlitun area. Okay, so you say: He 'looks like' a drug dealer? WTF!

This IS racism.

Wu Di, great, so you have a black friend. If he would care to, why don't you have him to go the bar and check whether the level of discrimination has increased for the Olympics.


See http://www.beijingboyce.com/2008/07/20/sanlitun-saturday-night-blacks-enjoy-drinks-play-pool-apparently-await-ban/

My friend probably was one of them.

But of course the Olympics haven't started yet... and I don't find it hard to believe that the authorities are doing what (they think) it takes to create 'harmony' in all of Beijing.

Well I'm black and I've lived in China for many years and this article doesnt surprise me one bit!!!

Chinese claim they can't tell the difference between black people and so the way they deal with the drug situation (which i admit is caused largly by africans) is to come dowm on all black people. Who cares if they're american, canadian or caribbean.....oh wait a minute....in the mind of chinese people all black people come from Africa and there are none in the USA or Canada (believe it or not, that was said to me on more than 5 occasions).

The Grenadian ambassador's son who was beaten by the police is a close personal friend. He does not do drugs or fight! He's quite tall(by asian standards)so the average chinese might be threatened, but the police just attacked left right and centre that night in Sanlitun!!!!

A few years ago, some Nigerian men were involved in a fight at The Den (know that place?) and because the bar owners couldn't tell the difference between those guys and all the other black men in beijing, they decided to ban ALL black men for months!!!

We all think this story is hard to believe, but these people are not like us and they certainly dont think like us! Until reading that article, I used to try to understand their strange way to thinking and generalizing everything....."oh you love apples?...That means every black person [on earth] loves to eat apples.

Chinese all basically have the same point of view, nevermind you know a few who speak english, smoke western cigarettes and hang out with you (western style) behind that fake facade, is a TRUE chinese, taught to think like everyother Han chinese)...don't believe me? You havent been there long enough!

I cringe hearing myself say these things in my head, but its true

I've also followed this whole story and I really think it can be true even if the specific topic makes it pretty hard to confirm openly except by posters who have experienced this kind of situations by themselves. with the last posting here from "ex china lover" the argument should be definitely closed, but.

It seems here again that a great number of comments in this thread are not about the original topic which is open racist profiling in Beijing bars but rather directly question the whole story, imply that SCMP are a bunch of bozos etc.. and start this ridiculous XINHUA style bullshit of turning any ugly-looking news on China before the olympics as a plot to tarnish China's reputation.

Having lived and worked for 11 years in China and almost 20 years in East Asia and being able to communicate in the region's main languages, therefore interacting easily with local people in these countries, I have grown tired of those locals and foreigners who seem to fully endorse China's worst aspects and turn as anti-China moves any criticism of the country that these naive types find unbelievable. I can understand that some people need to see the country they live in under a positive light but this should not lead to self-delusion either.

Personally, knowing the challenges that some African students went through here, I can say that living in China can be anything but fun for black and any dark-skinned persons who happen to understand the language and I fully agree on "ex china lover" post as unlike most other posters here, he really knows what he is talking about !

Everytime I pass through the Beijing airport check points (coming from America to Mongolia via transit),I'm selected out from the croud and searched by Chinese custom and border guard officials and it's very embarassing.I can only understand the word "Mongu, mongu...." by officials and pointing to each other frantically.
Many many Mongolians can attest that.One time I called the officials racists out of frustration and one official threw my passport to my face shouting chinese.
So, reading the "bar barring" news,I wasn't surprised at all.

It sounds like the research here is a bit flimsy, but then again, it might be true. When it comes to the deep rasicm of a lot of Chinese, I am willing to believe almost anything. Having seen myself how Chinese landlords refuse to rent their apartments to black people, how taxi drivers want take black, how black people constantly are prone to racist remarks from Chinese, it would not surprise me one bit if the authorities would ask for such a heineous policy to be enforced. After all, their state TV is airing shows that picture Africans as savages walking around in the bush half-naked, and civilized Chinese arriving to save the day.

Inline with what "ex china lover" and "chuluun" have just said, the truth is.. u have to be there to see and feel things for urself, then u'll see the truth in the orignal post.

The level of generalization in china is just insane. just because one black guy is spotted doing something, the next thing u here is "all black ppl are like that".. sigh..

for me, i believe this whole thing is not coming from someone with lots of power but its defninately coming from someone.. be it by suggestion or by actual implementation..

what i dont get is, the same crimes balck guys commit over there, caucasians and other races do thesame. how come they don't get thesame discrimination?
oh wait.. now i get it(Read the last sentence from Jo's post above me). Adding to that, the same tv shows picture the westerners as heavenly.


I think the racism is from the lack of understanding and communication. China has been open to the west for only 2 decades. Most of Chinese ppl have NEVER seen a black or white ppl in their whole life. All they know about the foreigners are from the media and foreign movies. But unfortunately, thanks for Hollywood, black ppl tend to be portrayed as criminals and trouble makers more often than the white. And 'Being White' usually means being rich, hi-tech, cool fashion...In this type of environment, ppl are more likely to be discriminative against blacks. Only 30 yrs ago, black ppl are terribly discriminated in the states. Racism still exists in today’s America. I think things in China will change cz’ most of the Chinese ppl are friendly and they treat their guests very well. Stop bashing and complaining, just give it some time….

The Chinese will cave. The Africans are in China because......of oil. China is getting a great deal of their oil from Africa and the West Indies. People forget that African and the West Indies actually have most of the worlds oil, not the mid east. As long as China is a "resource poor" counrty they WILL be forced to deal with African people. As far as the Mongolians go, they ruled China once, at at some point the Mogols will be ruling China again. You've all been pimped (piches you shirt)


Most likely there were particular bars such as Maggies that had drug dealing and prostitution. Mongolians and black people might be more outstanding targets for the police who are just instructed to round up the usual suspects. One can only imagine the problems that might develop during the Olympics if there are a lot of foreigners who want to live it up in a country where they think they can get away with not being observed.

Ex-China Lover, it is difficult for lots of laowai in China, black, white, red, or whatever. It's not easy also for ABCs who are considered "Chinese" just because they look alike--but don't think alike. Get over your racism and victimization. Stay out of bars with prostitution and drug dealing if you want to avoid trouble. Unlike America, you won't be asked for your ID all the time.

psst....guess what story is no longer on the scmp olympic website?

To ex china lover: Yes, it's true, I've been in China for 3 years. Black-Canadian. (You have to be here to understand)
They don't believe there are black people in other countries other than Africa. I do get annoyed sometimes. AND I've gotten the same reaction from AFRICANS. They say that I don't look Canadian bc I'm black.

To Anonymous: I think you misunderstood "ex china lover" he is not complaining abt being black but about the fact that people here can't and sometimes refuse to believe when we say we are NOT africans. I know that other Laowais have problem here as well... I'm just pointing out that it is TRUE. I don't take it personal because they are racist among themeselves ( re to Chinese). I'm here because I think China is a beautiful place.The only point of confusion, in my opinion, is why don't they deport the drug dealers? Why don't they get the same treatment as local Chinese? If it was for me, they would all be behind bars or else...
In terms of generalization, they think all whites are the same, all black are the same and at times : ALL foreigners are the same. I've been told so many times, why do you eat eggs, I thought ALL foreigners didn't eat egg? I know it is silly... lol

About the story: I do believe that the bars have received such requests. But I also know that no one will come forward. As we know we don't want to "lose face".

Last point: I wonder would the western media's reaction be it was Jews not blacks.


You just wish you could ban blacks from American bars. What the Chinese are doing, is something the Klan and most white bar owners wishes they could do now in this free country.That's God's honest truth any Good Old Boy would agree with. Heehaw.

Asia, China in particular is the most racist region in the entire world - PERIOD!

The KKK+ is alive and very well in China.

China Says: 'Bye, Bye, Laowai'


Why don't they just deport the entire lot?

One World - Two Systems

i am an ex china lover .
i was very surprised when i heard this .
i did not know china was racists .
they live in my country (Senegal) and are very well integrated in our society .
we were all very happy to buy china products , because we were proud for china model of development .
this news really hurt me

For all you doubting Thomases out there, did you forget the bloodbath last year when the police swept San Li Tun and beat most every black man they could get their hands on? Victims included the son of the Grenadian Ambassador to China.

I am from Mongolia and hearing this news makes me upset. China has the biggest prostitution and drug link in the world. Mongolia has 2.8 million people and less than 1 percent of them could be practicing prostitution, not because of their will, but because of Chinese kidnapping. How can Mongolian 100 hookers disturb Chinese over 1 billion population. I lived in China before and I have never ever seen black person there in my entire stay. And how many blacks speak chinese??? And who moves to China??? Why would anyone would live in China??? This whole thing makes China the racist country in the world. We have more Chinese illegal immigrants and prostitutes and drug dealers in Mongolia. I thought Chinese invented that drug problem and prostitutes???

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