Job search site apologizes over graduate's death

Updated 2017-08-11 10:55:36 chinadaily.com.cn

Boss Zhipin says it failed to manage postings, will take legal responsibility

Chinese online job recruitment service Boss Zhipin made a public apology on Thursday, pledging to accept legal responsibility for the death of a university graduate.

"We failed to manage and examine job postings. Pyramid scam gangs exploited the loopholes and published false job hiring information," Boss Zhipin said in a statement.

Boss Zhipin does business through an app and website developed by Beijing Huapin Borui Network Technology Co, which was founded in 2012.

Li Wenxing, a 21-year-old university graduate from Shandong province, was found dead in a pond in Tianjin's Jinghai district on July 14. A police investigation showed that he applied for a position via Boss Zhipin and was lured to a pyramid scam organization disguised as a regular company.

Police said Li paid a fee to the scammers for the recruitment and was forced to stay in the organization's dormitory from May 20. His movements were limited to the organization's premises.

"We apologize to Li's family and express our deepest regret to our users, as well as the members of the public," the company statement said.

It also said Boss Zhipin will assume legal and moral obligations with respect to all users who have suffered from false information on its platform.

Prosecutors in Jinghai district approved an arrest warrant for nine suspects of a pyramid scam called Die Beilei, which is believed to have been connected to Li.

Pyramid schemes often prey on ill-informed victims by promising good-paying jobs or lucrative financial returns. Victims may be lured to what they believe are regular companies, but are then instructed by the scammers-often under duress-to recruit friends and family, or to borrow money from them, according to the police. Mobile phones and identification documents are often confiscated, they say.

Prosecutors said Die Beilei has lured more than 400 people to Jinghai district to become members since September.

Boss Zhipin was founded in July 2014 and concluded its latest round of fundraising in September 2016. It aims to put both employers and job applicants on a fast recruitment track by enabling applicants to have one-on-one chats with representatives of companies that wish to hire people.

Beijing and Tianjin municipal cyberspace administrations spoke with Boss Zhipin on Wednesday and instructed it to rectify the problems with its job postings.

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