BEIJING, Feb 23, 2008 (AFP) - China on Saturday warned its citizens against shopping at a leading Paris department store that wrongly accused a young Chinese couple of trying to pay with a fake banknote, state media said.
Staff at the French capital's Galeries Lafayette dragged the two newlyweds off to a police station earlier this month after making the false accusation, the Xinhua news agency said.
The head of the store on Friday apologised for the incident, but Xinhua quoted an unnamed tourism official calling for a boycott of the famed French brand.
Chinese media also said the country's consulate in France had contacted the police to protest the "brutal" treatment of the couple.
China's growing middle class is enjoying more and more foreign travel, and Paris is a favourite destination for newly married couples.
Chinese tourists are the store's highest-spending foreign customers.