Chinese firm faces backlash over controversial punishment video provoking online outrage

Photo courtesy of Sanook.

A video showing a controversial disciplinary method by a company in Sichuan, China, sparked online outrage. The footage revealed a female employee crying while pouring water on the head of an individual, with a queue of colleagues waiting their turn to do the same.

The viral video stirred up a heated debate among Chinese netizens, with many criticising the act as “humiliating” and “disrespectful.” Calls for an internal investigation within the company were made by numerous individuals.

The individual who uploaded the video, claiming to be the company’s manager, clarified the incident on October 27. He stated that the woman being doused was a team leader who had voluntarily submitted to the punishment due to her team’s performance not meeting standards.

He referred to it as a “voluntary punishment,” an effort to boost team spirit, which was intended to be positive. However, this explanation led to a misunderstanding among netizens, causing online outrage.

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Despite the clarification, public backlash and online outrage did not subside but instead intensified. Many netizens continued their criticism, arguing that there are a multitude of ways to motivate employees, and such behaviour likened the company to a direct sales company.

“Who would dare to say they didn’t volunteer? Unless you don’t want to work here anymore.”

“There are many ways to motivate, but this isn’t one. What exactly are you doing?”

“Why would they cry if they volunteered? This is like when a boss forces employees to drink with him.”

“How is this company different from a cult? I don’t see anything positive being reinforced here.”

“They are still using this method to boost employee morale, it’s simply outdated.”

“Is this a daily ritual? What kind of company is this?”

In related news, a 14 year old Chinese girl‘s heartfelt attempt to prepare a meal for her returning mother was met with criticism, sparking an outcry from netizens. The girl’s mother posted a video online chastising her for preparing too much food, drawing a backlash from the online community. Read more about this story HERE.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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