A Caucasian woman who was allowed to eat on a Chinese subway while a local man was fined for drinking a beverage on the same train has netizens speaking out against “foreigner privilege.”
Weibo user spongepiepy uploaded a video on July 10, claiming that officers in Nanjing Metro, Jiangsu province “selectively enforced” the law against eating on trains.
According to spongepiepy, officers fined a local male passenger for drinking milk tea on the subway, but allowed the foreigner to eat a Starbucks sandwich.
In accompanying photos, two officers can be seen standing in front of the local man, while the foreigner continues to enjoy her food.
The story triggered an uproar on Chinese social media, with many criticizing the perpetuation of “foreigner privilege.”
Just this week, the state-owned Shandong University sparked controversy for allegedly assigning female “buddies” to international male students, assisting them in their studies and keeping them company in “dance parties and hiking excursions.”
Weibo users slammed the alleged unfair incident on the subway:
“Support law enforcement and oppose unfair treatment!”
“This shows the inferiority of your treatment to your compatriots.”
“When I’m on the Nanjing subway, I can’t even drink boiled water.”
“This is a clear violation of the subway’s no-eating policy. They should be treated equally.”
“Shouldn’t these two officers stand up and apologize to the public? As representatives of the public prosecution law, they’re not fair enough. Isn’t this the biggest contempt for today’s social laws?”
In response to the backlash, Nanjing Metro admitted that the situation was handled “unjustly,” explaining that the foreigner had only received a warning due to a language barrier.
The subway, which fines eating offenders from 20 yuan ($3) to 100 yuan ($14), also vowed to improve training of the officers involved to prevent similar instances in the future.
Images via Weibo / @Spongepiepy