Saturday, May 19, 2012

Anti-foreigner sentiment on the rise - Marc van der Chijs

Marc van der Chijs
Personally, he is not worried, serial entrepreneur Marc van der Chijs writes on his weblog, but the anti-foreigner sentiment in China has become stronger than ever during his 12-year stay in the country. Social media and political changes are moving faster than ever.

Marc van der Chijs:
On top of that the anti-foreigner sentiment is on the rise once again. Over the years I have seen a few instances in which it was safer to avoid certain places for foreigners (the Hainan spy plane incident, anti-French tensions, the attacks on Japanese people and property (twice!)). But what’s happening now seems to target a much broader range of foreigners. Likely the government is just using it to direct attention away from the internal political problems and to make people more patriotic, but it’s scary to see what’s happening and how quickly social media can spread the moods of people. 
Even big Chinese Internet companies like Baidu and Sina joined the party to crack down on ‘misbehaving foreigners’, according to an article in yesterday’s People’s Daily. And a well-known English speaking CCTV anchor put a tirade against foreigners on his Weibo, stirring up things even further. 
A New York Times blog post gives a good overview of how the xenophobia started and about everything that happened over the past 10 days, give it a read if you want to understand what’s going on: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/18/sentiment-against-foreigners-flares-in-china/ Personally I am not too worried yet, but it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening.
More at Marc van der Chijs' weblog.

Shanghai-based entrepreneur Marc van der Chijs is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers' request form.
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