Kwong Wing Catering serves only Hongkongers

"We don’t serve Mandarin speakers!"

This Hong Kong restaurant chain has ignited controversy. In January it posted a notice saying “it would not serve Mandarin speakers”, citing concerns about the new Coronavirus, which originated in mainland China.

Kwong Wing Catering serves only Hongkongers. Please order only in Cantonese or English. We don’t serve Mandarin speakers. Update: Taiwanese are welcome.

The official language of China is Mandarin. The Chinese dialect now spoken throughout the country. But in Hong Kong, the most common dialect is Cantonese. The restaurant’s action has been blasted by some as discriminatory.Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunities Commission told the restaurant chain, Kwong Wing Catering, that such measures could be illegal.

Kwong Wing Catering then changed its statement, saying none of its staff can understand Mandarin. At least two other restaurants have taken similar steps to exclude customers. This ramen shop had put up a poster in January saying ‘it would not serve people from mainland China’, but now it’s been removed. And this restaurant is only allowing those with Hong Kong identification cards to enter.

All the restaurants have posted statements on their official Facebook pages defending their decision not to serve mainland Chinese customers. They blame the Hong Kong government,  saying officials should have closed all of the city’s border crossings to the mainland to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.Regardless of whether the restaurants’ refusal to serve Mandarin speakers is political, it is the latest point of contention in an already tense relationship between Hongkongers and mainland Chinese.



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