Planet China

On the table

Posting group photos online is seldom viewed as dangerous. But in Hangzhou it has cost two people their jobs. According to, the trouble began when eight disaffected sales staff quit their job and arranged a meal with three ex-colleagues. One of these had also just quit, meaning only two of the staff were still actually with the firm. Not for much longer it turned out. The photo of all 10 smiling around the dining table was shared via WeChat but was also forwarded to the company boss, who was furious. He then sent it to the entire workforce along with a note saying the remaining two had been fired. The case sparked widespread discussion on Chinese social media. Lawyers were asked if there were grounds to fire an employee just because they were dining with ex-staff (who also happened to be their friends). Hou Guangwen, deputy dean of the Shaanxi Institute of Modern Economics and Management, said this was not in line with China’s labour laws. So Sohu contacted the boss (surnamed Xu, born 1982) who gave this reason for his actions: “The employees said that this is a casual meal. I don’t know what the situation is, but as a company manager, seeing this kind of photo, I feel that it will have a greater negative impact on other employees of the company. In one perspective, negative energy will be brought into the company. I don’t want the negative energy of two people to damage the whole company.”

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