The sign asks Chinese reporters to respect the privacy of the media center's staff. (Internet photo)
A sign in Chinese has been spotted at the Olympic media center in London, to remind reporters from China to show respect to staff at the center.
The sign reads: "Dear Chinese reporters, please show consideration for the London media center's staff. If you wish to take a picture of them, please ask them beforehand and respect their personal space. Thank you," the Shanghai-based Ximin Evening News reports.
A dispute has arisen regarding the intent of the sign, with some saying it is likely to reflect different cultural values of personal space. Some netizens in China have said that the sign is regrettable because the media center is an open press environment and the move shows a kind of discrimination in public, while others said that the Chinese media should indeed learn to show greater respect to others if they wished to be treated equally in turn.
Similar embarrassments have befallen Chinese nationals abroad over the years. A sign in Seoul written in Chinese characters pointedly said "no stealing" while scenic spots in Japan were found to have placards reminding Chinese visitors to "place toilet paper into the toilet and flush it, please."