How China's private and state-owned enterprises welcomed the Chinese New Year

Updated 2017-01-23 10:28:12 Global Times

With the Chinese New Year, or known as chunjie in China, just around the corner, Chinese high-profile privately-owned companies including Tencent and Xiaomi are throwing their year-end events in January.

For some of them, things literally went downhill.

According to footage from the Tencent party this year, female employees were asked to kneel in front of their male co-workers and open water bottles held between the men's legs.

The video recording, emerged on Chinese social media on January 11, immediately went viral online, with most web users accusing the game of being sexist against the females and reflecting sexism in the Chinese corporate culture.

Faced with pressure, the Social Network Group (SNG) department of Tencent released a letter of apology the next day, which says "we have no excuses but accept all the blames… the SNG department failed to supervise the event planning and also failed to call it off when the incident took place."

In addition, Tencent officially apologized to the female workers involved and held SNG event organizers accountable for the misconduct, the Beijing Times reported on January 12.

Fun and games, and giveaways

Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone making giant, staged its own Victoria Secret show on its annual party.

"At first it was all professional foreign models wearing winged lingerie, followed by our sexy young female colleagues who volunteered to participate," a Xiaomi employee, named Tania, told the Global Times on Saturday, recounting the Xiaomi year-end event on January 12.

"Although the walk was for the benefit of the guys, we all enjoyed the show very much in the end, especially the later part featuring our own employees," she said, adding that "we girls love beauties, too."

The party reached its climax when Lei Jun, the Xiaomi CEO gave out 1 million yuan (5,500) to 10 employees in cash in the lottery part of the event, Tania said.

The 1 million yuan is the prize money for honoring the Xiaomi CEO as the "Beijing outstanding talent."

Wang Jianlin, the outspoken boss of one of the largest real estate developers in the world, Dalian Wanda Group, took the microphone and showed off his singing talent-four songs by the CEO at the Wanda annual party this year.

Likewise, Chen Shengqiang, CEO of the JD Finance, to everyone's surprise, made a provisional decision at the annual party that a package worth 10 million stocks goes to the best team of the year.

Chen also vowed to make a score of billionaires and 300 millionaires out of his employees, according to the news site ceweekly.cn on January 18.

Each one in the Tencent's WeChat team, got an iPhone 7 Plus as bonus, and the huge number of iPhone models made a literal wall of iPhones, according to news site mydrivers.com.

These iPhones were all engraved with "6th anniversary of WeChat" and the employee's name.

The report also said that another prize worth 100 million yuan also goes to the WXG department this year, but the form of the prize [in cash or stock] remains unknown.

The glittering event may be what everyone pays attention to, but people hardly know half of the hard work and the huge pressure we are faced with every day, said Tania.

Even on the event day, we held a meeting in the morning, and the next day, we have to go back to the normal busy schedule, she revealed.

Frugal and modest celebrations

Compared to the private sectors, the State-owned enterprises and organizations have been keeping a relatively low profile since the Communist Party of China (CPC) central leadership launched a frugality campaign in December 2012.

The campaign adopted the "eight-point rules," which aimed to curb extravagance and improve officials' work ethic.

Lavish weddings and funerals, public money spent on travel and gift-giving were also included in the violations.

The disciplined people were involved in more than 146,400 cases over the past four years, about a quarter of which involved the use of public vehicles and dining with public funds, the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in December 2016, reported the Xinhua News Agency.

CCDI statistics showed that 33,532 violations were reported from January to October in 2016, nearly the same number as in 2015, Xinhua said.

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