A duty-free shop at Heathrow airport has caused controversy after allegedly discriminating against Chinese tourists.
Heathrow has apologised after Chinese passengers shopping in duty-free were made to pay more than other people in order to gain a discount.
Chinese travellers were offered 20 per cent off if they spent £1,000, while other shoppers only needed to spend £250 to receive the same offer.
"We have been made aware of this offer which we find unacceptable", the spokesperson said.
The company did not respond to requests for an explanation of whether it did indeed discriminate against Chinese travellers. World Duty Free apologised following the revelation, saying it had investigated and taken "urgent steps to correct the implementation of this promotion", while Heathrow Airport also apologised, describing the situation as "unacceptable".
Chinese tourists outside Buckingham Palace in July 2012. Matthew Lloyd Getty
@Julialovekshwrote on Twitter: "Will never shop in the duty free store at Heathrow any more".
One traveler Shirley Xie took to Twitter and posted she confronted the store's manager about having to spend an exorbitant amount for a coupon on Sunday afternoon.
It added: "Just want to let Heathrow and World Duty Free know that as [members of a group with some of the world's] biggest purchasing power, we Chinese consumers need to be treated with respect".
"I asked why. the cashier said because she is Chinese; if she is Chinese, she has to spend £1,000 to get the VIP voucher", Ren Jian Nai Pao wrote. The salesman wrote that a British colleague told him later that other nationalities had only needed to spend £79 to qualify for the vouchers.
@QianyunZhu_zqy tweeted: "Shame on you World Duty Free!"