It has now reached Chinese social media, and netizens have taken a collected stand against the airline, with many announcing they are boycotting the airline. Some have even posted photos of their cut up membership cards to show their outrage.
In the widely-covered fiasco which happened on Monday, a Vietnamese-American doctor identified as Dr. David Dao boarded an overbooked United Airlines flight from Chicago to Louisville. Eventually, he was forcefully removed from his seat after United attempted to make room for their employees. The infuriating footage of the incident where Dao was seen being dragged down the plane’s aisle with a bloodied mouth has earned massive backlash from many.
On Tuesday, the news became a hot trending topic on social media platform Weibo, under the hashtag #美联航强制乘客下机#, or “United forces passenger off plane.” According to Mashable, the topic has reached over 180 million Chinese users, amassing over 890,000 comments from mostly irate netizens.
Chinese Twitter users have also responded to the call accordingly:
@united just closed my united mileage plus credit card. goodbye !
— Kevin Wong (@kwong4) April 11, 2017
— Donald Xu (@donx_lynx) April 11, 2017
— Zeqing Li (@ZeqingLi) April 10, 2017
— jiajunchen (@jiajunchen) April 11, 2017
— Doris Lin Ⓥ (@DorisLin) April 11, 2017
It is believed that the quote from a witness has ignited the massive backlash from the Chinese community.
“He said, more or less, ‘I’m being selected because I’m Chinese’,” passenger Tyler Bridges was quoted by The Washington Post as saying.
The allegation was earlier denied by the airline, maintaining their initial claim that the four passengers selected to be removed were randomly chosen.
Needless to say, United’s PR nightmare has now gone global.