Meituan Waimai, one of China's three largest online catering service platforms, has fired an employee for regional discrimination in recruitment which triggered a public outcry.
The employee, Tian Yuan, sparked an online uproar Wednesday as viral posts showed Tian asking for recommendations of a candidate for the company's position of product operator by offering a reward of 10,000 yuan (,450). However, Tian requires the applicants to be none of those people who "look ugly in resume," "are graduate or PhD," "drive Volkswagen-branded car," "believe in traditional Chinese medicine" and "are from Huangfan region and Northeast China."
Huangfan region historically referred to an area which mainly covered places in Central China's Henan, East China's Anhui and Jiangsu provinces frequently affected by the flooding of the Yellow River. The region has long been suffering from poverty.
Many netizens vowed to uninstall the platform's mobile application, with those from Henan and Northeast China lodging serious protest against the discrimination.
Meituan Waimai said in a statement that Tian was an employee of the company's product department. The discriminatory attitude has caused vicious impact inside and outside the company. The company said it has fired Tian and apologized with sincerity.
China's most populous province, Henan, is struggling with stereotypes which say it is the "cradle of liars." The prejudice against Henan is so widespread that it permeates all aspects of life, from the job market to everyday social interactions.