German auto giant Daimler AG has sacked a top executive for China after he reportedly made insulting comments about Chinese people in a row over parking space in Beijing.
Accounts of the incident, which happened on Sunday, spread fast on local social media with furious netizens demanding that Rainer Gaertner, president and chief executive of Daimler Trucks & Buses China Ltd., be immediately deported, Shanghai Daily reports.
Local reports said Gaertner, driving a black Mercedes, and a Chinese driver were both trying to park in the same spot in a posh residential area in the capital’s Shunyi District when they got into an argument.
Gaertner reportedly let out a racist tirade against the other driver.
“I am in China one year already. The first thing I learned here is that all you Chinese are bastards,” Global Times quoted Gaertner as saying.
His remarks drew local residents and passersby to defend the Chinese driver, prompting Gaertner to attack them with pepper spray, injuring one, the report said.
Daimler later apologized for the incident.
In a statement, the German maker of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks said the incident “is a purely private issue, which has now been resolved in an amicable manner”.
“The details of the resolution are required to remain private and confidential between the participants, and inquiries by the authorities have been closed,” it added.
Daimler acknowledged that the incident was damaging to the company’s name.
“Therefore, we have immediately relieved the manager of his position,” it said.
Reports of the incident drew angry responses on social media. The incident hit the top 10 most discussed topics on popular microblog Sina Weibo by Monday morning.
Thousands took to the Mercedes-Benz page on Weibo demanding the company apologize.
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