Published: 05 Oct 2012 10:33 GMT+02:00 | Print version
Updated: 05 Oct 2012 10:33 GMT+02:00
The boss of French clothing firm Zadig & Voltaire has apologised for saying that Chinese tourists would not be welcome at an exclusive new hotel planned by the company in Paris.
Company founder Thierry Gillier told fashion industry journal Women's Wear Daily late last month: "We are going to select guests. It won't be open to Chinese tourists, for example."
The article has since been amended to remove the reference to Chinese tourists and instead refers to "busloads of tourists".
But that did not stop outraged Internet users posting angry messages on social media and websites in China.
"This is obviously racial discrimination. Not every Chinese is uncultivated, there are many more who are cultured," said one user on popular portal Sina.com.
"I think this pretentious brand will lose an important market if it really turns down Chinese."
In a statement released on Thursday, Gillier said the remarks had been taken out of context and apologised for any offence caused.
"These reported words do not reflect either my line of thought or my ethics," he said.
"My remarks were doubtless clumsy and, taken out of their context, I understand they might have hurt my friends from China, France or elsewhere, and I am deeply sorry for that."
The hotel would be an "intimate address", the statement said, adding that Gillier "admits he expressed himself in an inappropriate way to explain that his hotel was not suited to mass tourism".
The purchase of the famous upmarket French department store Printemps by investors from Qatar needs to be investigated by authorities for possible corruption, money laundering and tax fraud, unions demanded this week. READ () »
The proposal was labelled by critics as another example of the France's Socialist government attacking the richest. But after a u-turn announced on Friday the plan to limit executive pay in the private sector will not now see the light of day. READ () »
It could easily be the script of a grisly horror movie. Police arrested a man in Nice this week, suspected of chopping up his 95-year-old grandmother. According to sources the suspect admitted to having eaten part of the body. READ () »
IMF chief Christine Lagarde is spending a second day being questioned by French prosecutors on Friday as part of a probe into a €400 state payout to disgrace businessman Bernard Tapie. If Lagarde is charged she could be forced to quit the IMF. READ () »
At least 20 people were killed and several trainee officers taken hostage when Islamists militants carried out twin bombings on a French-run nuclear plant in Niger. The attack was claimed by the group Movemnent for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). READ () »
Not everyone gets the chance to party with the stars at the Cannes festival for two days, unless that is, you are the French double of 'Gangnam style' entertainer Psy and you have the nerves of steel to pretend to be him. Meet Denis Carre our undisputed French Face of the Week. READ () »
Jewellery thieves have had some rich pickings at Cannes this year with jewellers announcing on Thursday that a €2million diamond De Grisogono necklace had been stolen, just days after €1.4 million worth of Chopard bling was pilfered. READ () »
Higher education has dominated the news in France recently thanks to plans for more courses to be taught in English so there's no better time to speak to an international academic to find out more about being a lecturer at a French university. READ () »
Of all the inappropriate shapes a teacher could use to teach geometry a swastika has to be near the top of the list, but not for one prof in France, whose use of the Nazi symbol to demonstrate angles has landed her in a spot of bother. READ () »
A contentious proposal that would see more courses at French universities taught in English was given the green light by deputies in the French parliament on Thursday. Critics say the move will lead to France losing its identity. READ () »