Chinese tourists don’t have the greatest reputation abroad, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to get robbed. Unfortunately a fondness for carrying cash and buying luxury items has made Chinese travelers prime targets for French thieves. As a Guangzhou-based tour operator put it to the South China Morning Post: “a busload of Chinese tourists is like a van carrying gold bullion.”
The number of robberies of Chinese in Paris is up 10% on last year, and theft has increased by half. France receives a million Chinese visitors each year, who spend about $2,000 each—and that’s not counting the robberies. In March 23 tourists were relieved of their passports, plane tickets and just under $10,000 in cash, and this week Chinese travelers (albeit ones who were traveling on business) were also robbed at the French Open tennis tournament and a hotel in Paris.
Is this all karmic payback for bad behavior? Beijing politely reminded French authorities that uncouth behavior like tagging a 3,500-year-old Egyptian artifact doesn’t justify robbing innocent tourists of their possessions. There’s a joke going around on the Chinese social network Weibo, according to China Daily: there are two types of Chinese in Paris–those have been robbed and those who will be.