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“Black Man Causing Trouble in Hefei” Incident Triggers Waves of Racist Remarks on Weibo

Photos of the arrest of a black man in Hefei triggered waves of racist remarks on Weibo this weekend.

Manya Koetse



Photos of the arrest of a black man in Hefei triggered waves of racist remarks on Weibo this weekend. Online racism against Africans has been an ongoing issue on Weibo ever since the platform was first launched.

On August 4, police in Hefei, Anhui, arrested a black man in the city for “causing trouble” and “picking quarrels.” The man reportedly injured another person on the street.

Photos of the incident made their rounds on Chinese social media on August 5. Hefei Headlines (@头条合肥) was one of the accounts sharing the news on Weibo with the headline “Black Man Causing Trouble in Hefei” (“黑人男子合肥寻衅滋事”).

The incident occurred around 4 pm on Fanhua Street, right before the Foreign Languages College. In the photos that are making their rounds on Weibo, the man can be seen running from the police, wearing nothing but underpants and sneakers.

It is not clear what triggered the incident and what the man exactly did, nor are there any reports on where the man comes from or whether he is a student at the college.

The photos triggered two types of responses on Weibo: on the one hand, there were those people who just praised the police for the work they are doing and risks they are taking, and on the other hand, there were large numbers of netizens who made racist remarks about the black man.

“Black monkey go back to Africa,” or “black trash” were typical comments amongst the thousands of reactions on Weibo.

“There are so many black devils in Guangzhou, and they bring AIDS with them, it’s disgusting,” one person said. Guangzhou has the largest black community in China.

Online racism against Africans has been an ongoing issue on Weibo ever since the platform was first launched in 2009. At the time, an essay about the racism against Chinese in Africa drew much attention. In 2013, Weibo was flooded by news of Chinese being killed in Ghana.

The existing idea that Chinese are looked down upon in Africa has allegedly worsened anti-African sentiments in China, although there are also those who already warned in 2013 that “the denigration and discrimination of black people [in Africa by the Chinese] is spreading like an epidemic.”

Throughout the years, multiple news stories concerning Africans have triggered waves of racist remarks.

In “From Campus Racism to Cyber Racism”1, scholar Cheng (2011) argues that anti-black racism in China has re-emerged with China’s deeper economic involvement in Africa, due to which large numbers of Chinese and Africans have come to work in each other’s countries.

Cheng writes that although there already were waves of racism against Africans in the early post-Mao era, it has resurfaced over the last decade with the rise of China as a global power. Given that there are still many regarding Africans as “racially inferior,” “these people think it is wrong for Africans to create social problems in Chinese cities and impede China’s actions in Africa” (561)1.

But on Weibo, there are many who take the issue of racism in China lightly, comparing it to other countries: “If this were America, this guy would have already have been shot and killed.”

“We have no racism in China,” one commenter says: “We just have a distinction of good versus evil.” Others had similar jokes, saying: “There are only two types of people I can’t stand: 1. racists and 2. black people.”

Despite all racist slurs and racist jokes, there were also those who had a serious message for all foreigners: “There are many foreigners from wherever who don’t take Chinese law seriously. I don’t care where you are from, but you have to abide by the Chinese law if you’re in China.”

It is unknown how long the man will be detained.

By Manya Koetse

1 Cheng, Yinghong. 2011. “From Campus Racism to Cyber Racism: Discourse of Race and Chinese Nationalism.” The China Quarterly (207): 561-579.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at, or follow on Twitter.



  1. Avatar


    August 8, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Tiny nationalists of the internet never miss the occasion to remind us all how pathetically small their manhood is.

    • Avatar


      August 10, 2017 at 2:41 am

      You must know from sucking their manhood .

      • Avatar

        Adolf Hitler

        October 14, 2017 at 1:46 am

        This guy knows. I love getting my dick sucked by these pussy ass leftists. Every time there’s a black blocc protest in the tristate area I make sure to swing by, fully erect and ready to party. I just make sure to bring protection, both from all the bike locks and all the rampant AIDS spread by these racemixing faggots.

        14/88 y’all, jet fuels don’t melt steel beams.
        Ya boy A.H.

  2. Avatar


    August 11, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Better question is why are there so many black African sexpats in China who pump and dump Chinese women and project their desire for racial supremacy over Asian men and anti-Asian racism?

  3. Avatar


    October 12, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Chinese and Asian citizens are nothing but suspected white supremacists. No different from white americans who they stupidly call “good”.

  4. Avatar

    Moshe Shekelsteinberg

    October 14, 2017 at 1:38 am

    Oy vey, just reading this article made me remember all the racist remarks those nazi’s made against me in the death camps, we better start helping china in rooting out all those racists and accept the ways of multiculturalism.
    No jew will rest until all chinese women have accepted progress, diversity and a beautiful black man in their lives.

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China Local News

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse



First published

In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo

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China Health & Science

No Need for Plague Panic? China’s Trending Plague Outbreak

After the Year of the Pig brought swine flue, some fear the Year of the Rat will bring the ‘rat plague.’

Manya Koetse




For the past nine days, during which three cases of the plague have been reported in China, the deadly bubonic plague has become a hot topic on Chinese social media.

The topic first made headlines on November 12, when Chinese state media announced that two people, a husband and wife from Inner Mongolia, were transported to Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital for treatment after being diagnosed with the pneumonic plague.

The couple reportedly got sick after eating raw marmot kidney.

A 55-year old hunter from the same region, the Inner Mongolian Xilingol League, was later also diagnosed with bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit meat.

The bubonic plague, also called the ‘Black Death,’ is an infectious disease that is known to have caused one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, killing millions of people in 14th century Europe.

News of the three cases of bubonic plague reminded many of the 2003 SARS panic; an outbreak of SARS in southern China caused over 8000 cases that year.

The World Health Organisation criticized China at the time for covering up the scale of the problem, with officials conceding in the Spring of 2003 that China’s SARs problem was “nearly 10 times worse than had been admitted.”

Current online reports on the bubonic plague in China stress that there is no reason for panic, with a hospital spokesperson confirming that the situation is “under control.”

42 people who are known to have come into contact with the Chinese patients have all been quarantined and were not found to have any symptoms of catching the disease.

Chinese (state) media channels are spreading social media posts this week that mainly emphasize that the plague “can be prevented, controlled, and managed,” and that it can be effectively treated.

“Don’t panic over plague outbreak,” Sina News headlines, with People’s Daily posting on Weibo that, according to the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “there is no need to worry.”

The bubonic plague primarily affects rodents and other animals, with animals – and incidentally humans – usually contracting the infection through insects such as (rat) fleas. This form of plague is highly contagious – can spread through coughing – and could be fatal within days if left untreated (Benedict 1996, 4).

Mammals such as rabbits or marmots, as eaten by the recent Chinese patients, but also rats, squirrels, gerbils, mice, etc., can all harbor the disease.

Although the disease is increasingly rare, and for many is something from the history books, there were still 3248 cases worldwide between 2010 and 2015, leading to 584 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

Although Chinese media stress that there is no need to panic over the recent outbreak of the bubonic plague, many netizens still fear an epidemic, making comments such as: “The Year of the Pig brought the [African] swine fever, now the plague is starting just before the Year of the Rat!” (The word for ‘plague’ in Chinese is 鼠疫 shǔyì, literally meaning ‘rat plague’ or ‘mouse plague’).

Others are asking questions such as: “Do we risk the plague more if we have mice in the house?” and “How can we prevent getting it?”

Meanwhile, according to Jiemian News reports, the area in Inner Mongolia where the patients originally contracted the illness is currently under strict control by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture; some roads are closed off, and there’s temperature screening for those taking public transport.

The area has seen four cases of plague over the past decades, the most recent one before this month being in 2004.

Last news on the current three patients was from last Saturday, when it was reported that at least one of the patients is now in stable condition.

By Manya Koetse
Follow @whatsonweibo


Benedict, Carol Ann. 1996. Bubonic Plague in Nineteenth Plague in Nineteenth Century China. Stanford University Press.

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