Chinese hotels add ‘US tariff’ on customers amid escalating bilateral trade tensions

By Shen Weiduo Source:Global Times Published: 2018/7/12 22:08:35

Chinese public sentiment toward the US is becoming more sensitive after the latter announced it planned to impose tariffs on additional imports from China. Some restaurants and hotels in China have already showed their willingness to "always stand with the country in face of a coming trade war provoked by the US" by taking real action.

"Modern Classic Hotel Group plans to charge 25 percent more to US guests. The US provoked a trade war; we vowed to accompany it to the end," read a noticeboard at the Shenzhen-based Modern Classic Hotel Group in South China's Guangdong Province.

"We put up the notice last Friday. Our boss was really angry about the endless tariffs the US planned to impose on China, so we decided to stand with the country and show our support," a spokesperson of the hotel surnamed Yang told the Global Times on Thursday.

But the spokesperson noted that the US customers did not display any particular reaction to the notice.

"They just paid the 25 percent higher room charge without asking anything."

The hotel is located at the city center within easy reach of big shopping malls and landmark buildings. The rate for a standard king room in the hotel is about 1,300 yuan ($194.25) per day, and it calls itself a "luxury hotel," the Global Times found on the hotel's official website.

Wang Jun, deputy director of the Department of Information at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, told the Global Times on Thursday that Chinese people's attitude toward the US will surely be affected, and it seems that the "resentment is accumulating in response to a tougher US policy on China."

  A Weibo blogger called "Cishisushi," who has more than 27.4 million followers, put up a post on Monday, saying that "from now on, if you want to treat US nationals to eat in our restaurant, you have to pay 25 percent more. Please consult the US Embassy if you have any inconvenience."

  "Well done! We should charge for US passengers' plane tickets as well," commented a netizen named "yijianfang" under the Weibo post.

  Another Weibo user called "taotaonanshendaren" said "Don't travel to the US anymore, hamburgers are not tasty after all."

Meantime, a picture circulated on the domestic social media, shows a restaurant named Xianglixiangqin that serves Hunan Province cuisine, put up a similar notice reading "US customers must pay 25 percent more when eating in the restaurant." 

However, although understandable, Wang warned that charging more for US customers won't help to develop the domestic catering and hospitality industry or settle Sino-US disputes, adding that populist behavior should be avoided, rather than promoted.

"Nevertheless, Chinese people have already showed restraint amid ongoing unstable relations with the US, especially compared with the time when China had disputes with South Korea over the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, reflecting the maturity of Chinese people," Wang noted.


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