Outrage Over United Incident Spreads to China

Some call for United boycott over what they see as discrimination against Asians
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2017 8:01 AM CDT
United Video Goes Viral in China, Too
The controversy continues.   (YouTube)

A set of viral videos showing an Asian man being forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight over the weekend has prompted plenty of outrage in the US, but there's been overseas reaction, too—specifically in China, CNBC reports. A passenger who took one of the videos of the incident that's now circulating online told the AP that the still-unidentified man complained to a United manager he'd been "singled out because he's a Chinese man," and although it hasn't been verified that he is Chinese, those on China's Weibo social media site are giving him a virtual pat on the back for calling attention to discrimination against Asians. The incident turned into Weibo's number-one trending topic on Tuesday, and the AP reports that by later in the day, a video on Weibo of the man's removal from the plane had been viewed more than 210 million times.

Many critics there took the airline to task for what they view as blatant bias, although one commenter, per CNBC, wrote: "Whether the passenger is Asian or not, this is abominable." Others called for more direct action. "No need to apologize or explain … please sue United Airlines till it collapses. Boycott fully," another commenter added. The AP notes a boycott by Chinese consumers could cause "serious pain," as United does a hefty amount of business in that country. Joe Wong, a Chinese-American comedian, also spoke up on Twitter, thanking the unnamed doctor for speaking up. "Too few Asians are willing to talk about discrimination," Wong tweeted. Meanwhile, United's shares were down 6% in premarket trading Tuesday, CNNMoney reports. (United's CEO says employees had "no choice" in having the man removed.)

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