The viral video was posted on Facebook by fellow passenger Audra D. Bridges, who told the Associated Press she heard the man "saying that he was being singled out because he's a Chinese man."
The man who was forcibly evicted from his seat has not been identified and has not commented publicly. His identity as ethnic Chinese could not be confirmed. United did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
But on microblog Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, the top trending topic on Tuesday was #UnitedAirlinesforcespassengeroffplane with most users expressing shock and anger at the video while some called for a boycott of the carrier.