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What is the general reception of 'Black' Foreigners in Shanghai


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Hello, I am coming to Shanghai soon, I am a 'black' African and I would like to know how black people are generally treated and regarded in Shanghai in terms of racism, prolonged stares, and perhaps unfriendly attitudes.

I appreciate your feedback.

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Hello xidi. Welcome!

I am white, and have experienced racism, prolonged stares, and unfriendly attitudes in China. I have also experienced undeserved kindness, hospitality and generosity. You will probably experience much the same. Try not to worry so much about it. It will only be a problem if you let it get to you, most of the time it won't be an issue. You can't plan for every scenario, you must just go and experience the crazy and amazing and wonderful place that it is.

Enjoy and good luck.

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It's my impression (not first-hand as I am white) that Chinese people can be pretty racist, more so and more openly so than in many western countries. There are still people who think that black people are less or who have watched too much tv and think black people are all either criminals or basketball players. So you will probably encouter some unpleasantness occasionally. Of course you'll mainly meet people who don't care or are just curious or are even more interested in you as a foreigner because you're black, so I hope the good people and experiences will prevail.

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Hi Lu, thank you for your response. As I was in Chongqing last year, I noticed that people stared a lot, not in the racist way but in a shocked kind of way as they had never seen a black person before and the moment I'd say 'Ni hao' they'd almost want to die (loving me) but I know that since Shanghai is bigger and more international I know I will certainly get different attitudes. I guess it generally comes with going to different countries...gosh even in our own countries.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I am white as well, so this is not exactly what you're looking for, but I've been to several cities and can compare them with Shanghai.

First of all, everything people say to worry about or expect (particularly from other cities) is true in Shanghai. It will be "around", just less in your face, and not on every street. Most of the time, nobody will even care about you or stare at you. Tourists from other cities will. And if you end up really far from nice parts of town, like you can't even get there by metro only by bus, you might see people who are a little too excited to see a foreigner.

So I think that will be true for you as well. The reactions people say to worry about will still be "around" but not so everyday and in your face in Shanghai.

Also though, note that prolonged stares don't mean what we tend to think they mean. If you're going to have trouble changing your attitude towards staring and being stared at, you may struggle with a lot of things in China. But again, Shanghai will still be a super managable version of this issue as opposed to the disaster it would be in many other cities.

People who haven't been in Shanghai long are gonna stare at you. Heck, after being in some other cities long enough (seeing very few foreigners) I wanted to stare at foreigners when I saw 'em too.

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  • 5 months later...

As someone who is half Chinese . Grew up with Chinese friends and even some Koreans. I can say that Chinese are very much racist towards dark skinned people. Whether its blacks or darker skinned Asians (Filipino or something) this is the truth and in china there is no racial discrimination laws. Of course many Chinese will be welcoming. But this is the truth I've come across. Chinese people look at the country of origin of the person to determine the quality of the person sometimes. even if you say you are African American they could still relate you to an actual African from an African country . But regardless just avoid the people who are blatant about it and you should have no problem . I believe Koreans are worse then Chinese. So at least your not going to korea

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