A video showing a Chinese man launching a well-aimed kung fu kick at an African man who was apparently abusing a beggar has attracted a mixed reaction from social media viewers, which some Taiwan people suggesting he might have used excessive force.

Widely circulated on social media in China, the video shows the African shouting at a beggar who is sitting helplessly on the ground on a street in Guangzhou, in southern China’s Guangdong province. The man also slaps the beggar on the head and then kicks him.

While most passers-by do nothing to help, a Chinese man suddenly appears and knocks the black man down with a jump kick, then points a finger at him. The video ends with a female voice saying that “he deserved it”, without giving any details of what happened next.

Netizens in China and Taiwan expressed different views about the incident. A lot of mainland Chinese viewers praised the Chinese man as a hero, noting that usually no one comes to help when such incidents happen. Brimming with nationalist pride, one said that “Chinese should stick together to fight against foreign invaders”.

Many Taiwanese netizens agreed that using a kung fu kick was an effective way to stop the man from bullying the beggar, but thought the “rescuer” could face charges of using excessive violence if he did this in other countries. They also said the well-trained kung fu man was actually bullying the African man, who could be a migrant worker.

As of mid-2017, about 15,000 African people were working legally in Guangzhou, having arrived for the annual Canton Fair trade show in the past few decades. However, Chinese media have said that there may also be more than 200,000 illegal immigrants from Africa; many  are illiterate and have to work as coolies or undertake illegal activities.