This video – seen 16 million times online – shows a group of besuited supervisors at an unnamed company crawling on their hands and knees at a year-end function after reportedly failing to meet their sales targets.
The bizarre scenes played out at the firm’s crowded annual gala in Changchun, capital of Jilin Province in north-eastern China, where the catering business’s headquarters is located.
In the footage leaked by shocked and concerned staff member, senior managers dressed in suits can be seen crawling on their hands and knees in front of their colleagues.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
The supervisors, whose teams reportedly failed to meet their annual sales targets in 2019, queue on the side of the stage before getting on all fours in an apparent bid to display their determination and conviction for the coming year.
The video author, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed the senior staff did three circles around the gala venue.
They chanted phrases such as “I swear!” and “I’m responsible!” while other employees looked on, reports said.
Social media users have been left shocked by what is perceived to be a ‘toxic’ company culture relying on ‘emotional blackmail’ to get results.
But a staff member who spoke to local media claimed none of the company executives demanded the bizarre and belittling stunt seen in the viral clip.
The unnamed spokesperson said: “The company didn’t force staff members to crawl on the floor. They volunteered to do it themselves, and I have no idea why.
“There’s no way we’d have forced them to crawl on the floor, and we cannot control what they willingly do themselves.”
It was not immediately clear at the time of writing whether Chinese labour regulators were looking into the case, which has raised concerns over possible staff abuse.
Thousands have left comments criticising the firm on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform.
‘Tangshuizhou’ wrote: “This looks like multi-level marketing nonsense.”
‘Tunleni Yikouxiayan’ said: “There must be seriously wrong with the company’s owner.”
‘Xiqu Shisan Shashou Xiaohuo’ added: “Quick reminder that this is the year 2020.”
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Story By: John Feng, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report
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