The 40 Chinese tourists were robbed by four attackers armed with tear gas in a hotel car park in a Paris suburb.
The holidaymakers were outside the Kyriad Hotel in the suburb of Fresnes in the department of Val-de-Marne, to the south east of the French capital, after returning from a shopping trip when the incident took place at about 8.20pm on Thursday.
The four attackers ran into the car park and sprayed the tourists with tear gas before fleeing the scene with eight shopping bags and a backpack containing luxury items, according to Le Parisien.
The exact value of the stolen goods had not yet been calculated.
“I heard screams, and when I looked out the window, I saw two people assaulting a Chinese guide, and I saw others using tear gas against the tourists,” a hotel worker was quoted as saying in Le Parisien.
“For an hour, it was absolute panic … Many of them [tourists] asked me to hide their bags.”
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So far there have been no serious injuries reported from the attack which took place in front of 30 other Chinese tourists who had just arrived in France.
An investigation into the attack is under way.
The event has sparked renewed fears of violence against holidaymakers after similar incidents that haven taken place in recent years, including several involving Chinese tourists.
And the Chinese embassy has responded to the attack with a warning to Chinese people planning to visit France that the security situation in the country is “grim”.
"The greater Paris region has reported a series of violent muggings and attacks against Chinese tourists and Chinese-French,” it said, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
In July this year The Local reported how a group of Americans were among 19 tourists who were robbed by masked men armed with tear gas as they waited outside their hotel at Charles-de-Gaulle airport to the north of Paris.
In 2016, The Local reported on another incident that saw Chinese tourists pounced on by six assailants as they boarded their bus near Charles de Gaulle airport.
French authorities tightened security around Chinese tourist groups in 2013 after Beijing expressed concern about the increasing number of incidents.
In September 2015, a Chinese tourist guide was robbed of 25,000 euros ($28,300) in cash and his new Rolex watch after he had prevented two of his group from being robbed themselves outside a hotel in a Paris suburb.
And in April 2015 a Chinese businessman whose suitcase was stolen at a Paris train station wrote to the French prime minister to call for better security in the capital, while 50,000 Chinese people signed a petition to help get the message across.
China has the world's second-largest economy, and its burgeoning and increasingly solvent middle class is travelling abroad in numbers greater than ever before.
But in many countries, particularly France, their reputation for carrying large amounts of cash has made them a target of thieves.
However it isn't just the Chinese community that has been targeted by thieves.
In July, a group of American holidaymakers were among 19 tourists who were robbed by masked men armed with tear gas as they waited outside their hotel at Charles-de-Gaulle airport to the north of Paris.
The group included four Americans, 12 French and three Moroccans were waiting for a shuttle bus to arrive.