This video was taken at a mining site in Sierra Leone, not Kenya
Posts purporting to show a Chinese man entering into a scuffle with a Kenyan worker at a factory site have been viewed thousands of times on Facebook and Youtube. But the claim is false: the incident occurred at a Chinese-operated mining site in Sierra Leone on June 8, 2021. After the recording went viral online, the company’s spokesman addressed the matter in a televised interview, and press statements about the incident were released on the same day.
"Chinese man (was) beaten by a Kenyan man. Respect Africans & you'll be Respected. Don't rattle us! (sic)" reads one Facebook post viewed more than 1,000 times.
In the clip, a man speaking in Mandarin can be seen angrily addressing the person recording the video before he turns to a man dressed in an orange reflective jacket and a red helmet.
The scene takes place in front of several other men dressed in factory safety gear, and some (including the man speaking in Mandarin) are wearing blue uniforms with the letters CRSG on the back.
CRSG stands for China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG), a subsidiary of the construction conglomerate China Railway Group Limited.
The man’s speech at the start of the video is difficult to discern, but he yells in Mandarin: “You shout at the meeting, just film it, film it, make a phone call. I told you and I didn't hit you... .”
He then proceeds to become physically aggressive, slapping a folder the man in a red helmet and an orange reflective jacket is holding.
“You hit first, if you dare hit again, I'll kill you, get out!” he says in Mandarin.
The altercation escalates to a brawl between the two men, as others on site try to de-escalate the situation.
But the clip was not filmed in Kenya.
A reverse image search of the keyframes of the clip using InVID WeVerify and a keyword search of the phrase “Chinese fighting with an African at a factory” revealed news reports from June 2021, including two videos (here and here), which discuss an incident at the Tonkolili mine site in Sierra Leone. The mine is under the operation of Chinese firm Kingho Investment Company Ltd.
An AFP correspondent in Sierra Leone confirmed that the incident occurred on June 8, 2021.
News Central TV, a Nigerian broadcast channel, interviewed Abdul Malik Bangura, a spokesman for Kingho Group, who confirmed that the man in the video is a Sierra Leonean who was attacked by a Chinese national.
Bangura explained that the Chinese nationals wearing CRSG uniforms were sub-contractors at the mining site. The man speaking in Mandarin had wanted to halt a meeting about safety measures conducted by the man in the red helmet, who was the supervisor in charge of safety, according to Bangura.
He also dismissed a statement from CRSG, which said the Sierra Leonean worker was the first to attack the Chinese national.
On June 9, 2021, local media reported that the CRSG apologized for the incident and relieved the Chinese national of his duties.
China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG)— Gleaner Newspaper Sierra Leone (@GleanerSierraLe) June 9, 2021
relieves a Chinese national of his duty following an assault on a Sierra Leonean Kingho staff at a repair shop at Tonkolili mine and apologized for the unfortunate incident. #SierraLeone#SaloneTwitterpic.twitter.com/PnqVr4n80a
China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) Resolves the dispute between a Chinese CRSG staff and a Sierra Leonean Kingho staff, following a fight at their repair shop at Tonkolili mine site as indicated in the video clip on social media... 1/2 #SierraLeone#SaloneTwitterpic.twitter.com/WjhRo68Y42— Gleaner Newspaper Sierra Leone (@GleanerSierraLe) June 11, 2021
Bangura told AFP Fact Check that since the incident, the company had taken action to ensure that complaints are addressed amicably.
"Management of China Kingho has established a complaints committee with a suggestion box at the mining site since the unfortunate incident happened. The Chinese national and his manager who was involved in the incident have also been transferred to another location by the contractor China Railway Seventh Group," he said