Cell phone video footage of Chinese bank employees being spanked in public for not “exceeding themselves” during a training session has gone viral. Multiple employees in uniform can be seen standing while a senior official publicly shames and verbally abuses them.
The video showing employees being “trained” involves two employees beating them with what clearly looks like a wooden plank. The video has triggered widespread criticism and public outrage, resulting in the suspension of the two executives who disciplined the employees with these abusive techniques.
The video was first posted by the People’s Daily. The executive, who many speculate is a trainer, asks eight employees who are standing and facing the audience why they did not “exceed themselves” at training. The language either in Cantonese or Mandarin, and hence there might be some discrepancy as to what exactly is being discussed, but the common consensus appears to be that it took place during a training session.
According to the Guardian, it was a motivational speaker/trainer who beat the employees because they did not perform well during a training weekend. The trainer, identified as Jiang Yang, later admitted on his blog that his training methods were rather harsh and completely absolved the bank’s leadership of any direct responsibility to whatever transpired on the stage during an invitation-only event.
“Spanking was a training model I have been exploring for many years.”
The bank where the employees worked has been identified as Changzhi Zhangze Rural Commercial Bank. While not a very large player, it is a lender in northern Shanxi province. The bank had hired a Shanghai-based training company to run a “performance breakthrough” course. A rural banking oversight body conducted a preliminary investigation and reported the incident.
Despite the varying versions, the employees appear to have been handpicked for the disciplinary action. After a day of training with Yang that lasted an entire weekend, the conductor apparently picked out the employees with the lowest scores from a pool of over 200 who were attending the program.
Yang then demanded an explanation from these employees about their scores. The employees gave several answers, including “I did not exceed myself,” “I did not co-ordinate with my team,” and “I lacked courage,” reported BBC News. A few blamed themselves while others blamed their teams for performing poorly. Outraged, the trainer then proceeded to menacingly walk up and down the stage saying “get your butts ready” before spanking the adult employees with a long stick. The executives do not appear to be pretending because a woman can be clearly seen recoiling in apparent pain when the stick hits her from behind. The video shows at least four rounds of spanking.
The video doesn’t show it, but some reports claim the trainer shaved men’s head and cut women’s hair as part of the punishment. The incident was apparently secretly captured on a cell phone. The video has been making the rounds on the internet.
Subsequent to the video going viral, the bank clarified its stand and noted that it did not condone the actions of the trainer. The bank claimed it stepped in and stopped the abuses by abruptly halting the training session and asked the Leadership Academy and its trainer to openly apologize, reported India Today.
Despite the uproar, Yang, from the Shanghai Hongfeng Leadership Academy, refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing, insisting, “Physical spanking was one of the most effective ways to raise consciousness.”
[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]