Double standards towards local Chinese versus foreigners has always been an avoided topic in China. Recently, the Nanjing Subway’s official Weibo account got bombarded with angry Chinese netizens’ comments because of their unfair treatment towards local people compared to foreigners eating in the subway. One of the angry netizens even custom-made a flag and hung it outside of the subway station to protest. Unfortunately, local police didn’t take his sarcasm attitude well and locked him away for 5 hours, and this incident pushed the discussion to the top of Weibo Hot Topic lead board again.
On July 10th, two Nanjing subway staff found a female foreigner eating bread on the train, they gave her an oral warning and made her put the bread away. Later they found a local Chinese male drinking milk tea in another compartment and issued him a fine. The whole process was recorded and uploaded to social media as a protest towards Nanjing Subway. According to Nanjing Railway Traffic Law, passengers eating or drinking on the subway shall be warned or issued with a CNY 20 to 100 fine. Netizens argued under the post, what the subway staff did was clearly unfair towards the Chinese passenger, and this kind of behavior was not acceptable.
On July 12th, Nanjing Subway’s official account apologized for their staff’s behavior on Weibo and accepted netizens’ criticisms. They have also announced that the fine issued to the Chinese male passenger had been lifted. Many netizens were happy to see Nanjing Subway’s speedy reaction as well as their humble attitude towards public criticisms. However, one of the angry netizens felt this wasn’t enough and decided to take the matter into his hand to raise more awareness. This angry netizen, Weibo ID 穷到送锦旗 (hereinafter shall be referred as the “flag dude”), custom-made a flag with “I can’t punish foreigners, but I sure can punish you” printed on top and hung it outside of the subway station.
While his action yielded him a lot of support on Weibo, many netizens warned him that there could be some serious consequences ahead of him. Weibo ID LuckyZhangcn said:
“Hahaha this is the best flag of the year! And you are about to receive an invitation from the police~”
The flag dude replied at the time that he hadn’t heard anything from the police yet. But a few days later he updated his Weibo again saying he had been detained and threatened by local policeman to write and sign an apology statement. As the flag dude revealed in his detailed post, he was put into an interrogation room with two officers for 5 hours. He was asked to write an official apology statement regarding his action, and he was threatened to have his family called to the police station as well if he refuses to do so. At the end of this post, the flag dude said:” I am not a criminal, however, in their eyes I might as well be one. They told me my Weibo now is under supervision. Why do I have to live like a fugitive in my own country while foreigners can do whatever they want? I am afraid no one can answer my question. ”
Your flag is so on point.
The smart way of dealing with this kind of reaction would be taking a picture of it, show it on their official social media account to show you are open to receive criticisms and determined to correct your wrongs. This will guarantee Nanjing subway a piece of positive news and support from the netizens. But now, everyone knows they deserve the flag.
Government organizations should listen to people’s voice and stop treating foreigners with double-standard. Imagine how angry people have to be to send you a flag like this, it is time to wake up!
The double standard has to go, and the first step is adding different languages on the notice board, so everyone knows the rules. I gave the same suggestion when I visited 918 exhibition hall, instead of a Chinese description, there should also be Korean and Japanese.
I don’t believe the guy was not fined. Nanjing Subway has a reputation of fine first and never ask. I can understand eating is not allowed, but why on earth would you not allow people to drink?
Kiss, keep kissing their ass
Drinking in subway should be allowed, come on? If not, please get rid of all the vending machines in the station!
I can testify, Nanjing Subway staff never ever gives oral warning… it is straight pay up bitch