New Reports Show Chinese Social Media Filled With Racist Anti-Black Content
Chinese social media is filled with anti-Black rhetoric, and advocates want something done about it.
Reports by Human Rights Watch found racist videos mocking Black people or portraying them through offensive racial stereotypes, The Guardian reports. The team analyzed hundreds of videos on Chinese social media and found major platforms, including Bilibili, Douyin, Kuaishou, Weibo, and Xiaohongshu, have done nothing about it since 2021.
Popular videos include “Chinese savior” content, showing people acting as Africans, portraying them as primitive, and the content creators being shown as wealthy saviors. A video posted on Douyin shows a woman in an African country washing her hands in a hut before drinking homemade alcohol from a muddy container. With the caption, “#LifeInAfrica #cleanandhygienic #PrimitiveTribe,” the video has 12,000 likes and hosts several negative comments, such as, “Thank you to my eight generations of ancestors for giving birth to me in China.”
Chinese authorities have openly condemned racism and have pledged to crack down on “unlawful online acts.” Chinese vlogger Lu Ke was arrested in 2022 after a BBC Africa Eye documentary exposed him as the creator of videos featuring Malawian children being sold on Chinese social media for money. In April 2023, Lu was convicted in Malawi on 14 charges, including child trafficking and procurement of children for use of entertainment, and deported from the country.
The vlogger coached the children featured in the video to repeat messages in Mandarin that they didn’t understand, including phrases like, “I am Black monster, my IQ is low.”
In a released statement, a senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch, Yaqiu Wang, says the Chinese government sings two different tunes regarding racism. “The Chinese government likes to tout China-Africa anti-colonial solidarity and unity, but at the same time, ignores pervasive hate speech against Black people on the Chinese internet,” Wang said, according to Al Jazeera.
“Beijing should recognize that undertaking investments in Africa and embracing China-Africa friendship won’t undo harm caused by unaddressed racism.”
The report points out that Chinese people in interracial relationships with Black people are major targets of online abuse. Women are often subjected to threats of rape, death, and doxing—publishing personal information about a person without their consent. Chinese descendants who condemn racism or support victims of racism are also targeted. Other posts include calling on the Chinese government to ban Black people from becoming permanent residents of China or marrying Chinese people.