Chinese shopping centre fined over naked female staff run plan
- Rogue events planner blamed for publicity stunt calling for volunteers to get their clothes off as part of anniversary celebrations
Plans for a naked run by female employees at a shopping centre in China have ended with a fine and widespread criticism on social media.
The shopping centre, in China’s southernmost island province of Hainan, was fined 900 yuan (US$130) for displaying banners calling on its female employees to take part in a “naked run” to celebrate its 12th anniversary and a lucky milestone of 880,000 WeChat views.
The number 8 is associated with wealth and is widely regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture.
“We are looking for 10 female employees to run naked for 10 minutes, each will be rewarded 10,000 yuan [US$1,400],” proclaimed one of two red banners on display at the front of the shopping centre on Monday.
Images of the banners were widely shared on social media and drew widespread criticism.
“I want to see your boss run naked,” was a common comment from users of China’s Twitter-like Weibo. Others called the stunt “shameless”.
Local authorities, including the Haikou Women’s Organisation and the Longhua Industrial and Commercial Institute, were called to the scene, and the mall was fined on the spot.
The banners were immediately removed and representatives of the women’s organisation met with the shopping centre manager, according to Hainan Daily.
A letter of apology from the shopping centre management claimed the stunt was the brainchild of an events planner who had not informed head office, and had subsequently been severely punished.
Women in China face widespread discrimination every day. However, as the #MeToo movement gathers pace in China, instances of sexism are quickly pointed out online.
China’s “Godfather of English training” Michael Yu Minhong, who owns the country’s largest provider of private educational services, faced intense online criticism on Sunday, after claiming that “depraved” Chinese women were the cause of China’s decline and that women’s love of money led to men only knowing how to chase more money.