Expat fired from job for racist comments ordered to leave China

Mark Kolars, who was dismissed from his job at the Chinese Academy of Sciences over racist remarks he made on social media, must leave the country after his residence permit was revoked.
PHOTO: Handout

A foreign worker who was fired from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing for posting racist remarks on social media has been ordered to leave China.

Mark Kolars, who had been employed by the CAS Institute of Automation as a visual effects specialist since 2012, was dismissed on Thursday, two days after it was revealed on Weibo, China’s microblogging platform, that he had made a series of racist comments, including calling Chinese men “dirty yellow guys”, on the employment networking site LinkedIn.

Beijing police announced on Friday that Kolars’ work-related residence permit was cancelled on the same day he was sacked and he had been ordered to leave the country.

In a statement published on Weibo, the Exit and Entry Administration of the Beijing Public Security Bureau said: “People from all over the world are welcome in China to start a business, make investments, work, study or travel and the administration will provide necessary entry and exit conveniences and safeguard their legitimate rights and interests.

“But at the same time they are also required to abide by Chinese laws, respect Chinese culture and history. Any violations of Chinese laws and regulations will be dealt with by law.”

The statement did not specify how quickly Kolars would have to depart, saying only he was on a time limit based on the “relevant provisions” of the law.

Foreigners working in China need a work visa to enter the country as well as a valid residence permit. Both are applied for by the employer on behalf of the foreign employee.

The institute expressed its “extreme shock and indignation” on Tuesday, after screenshots of Kolars’ LinkedIn posts went viral on Weibo. On Tuesday night, Kolars apologised, via LinkedIn, saying he had posted several messages that were “inappropriate and racist in nature and hurt the feelings of my Chinese friends and colleagues”.

Kolars’ profile page on LinkedIn has been unavailable since Wednesday.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post

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