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Chinese Bank Employees Spanked In Public For Poor Job Performance

A video of Chinese bank employees being spanked with a kind of bat or paddle for poor job performance has gone viral, setting off outrage online in China.

The video, apparently recorded during a training session at a rural bank in the poor western province of Shanxi, shows eight staff members — both men and women — lined up on a stage before an audience of trainees. A male trainer rebukes them before proceeding to spank each of the adult employees on their behind with a bat, one after the other, as the audience watches.

"No desperation, no persecution, no progress," the trainer shouts, before making his way up and down the line four times, striking each employee along the way.

A Chinese business publication Yicai.com reports that the assault was part of an internal training course at the Changzhi Zhangze Bank. The employees were attacked because they hadn't achieved their performance goals at work. Other punishments for not meeting targets typically includes shaving men's heads and cutting short women's hair, the news website says.

The footage shows one of the female employees crying out in pain after being beaten for the third time. When she tries to cover her buttocks with her hands, the trainer orders her to stand straight and strikes her for a fourth time.

When asked why they didn't protest the assault, Yicai, citing anonymous employees, reports that staff members were scared of losing their jobs.

Yicai says the trainer, Jiang Yang, the director of Shanghai Hongfeng Hanyuan Business Consulting, has since apologized for attacking the employees but says that, "corporal punishment is a better teaching method because pain is an effective way to wake up the sleeping mind."

Jiang says he has been using the same method for years when invited by companies to coach their workers in achieving a "performance breakthrough."

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Big Tobacco, Tax Windfalls: The Inside Story Of What Really Feeds China's Smoking Habit

No country in the world has as big a cigarette industry as China. This is the story of how a giant state-backed monopoly created the industry, which provides more tax revenue than any other, and ultimately sabotaged the country's anti-smoking efforts in the process.

Chinese man smoking a cigarette with a solemn facial expression

Beijing - A Chinese man smokes a cigarette outside a shopping center

Stephen Shaver / ZUMA
Jude Chan, Jason McLure & Christoph Giesen

Updated October 3, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

This story by The Examination was supported in part by a grant from the Pulitzer Center. It was reported with Germany’s Der Spiegel and the investigative newsroom Paper Trail Media, Chinese-language Initium Media and Austria's Der Standard. The full version of the article can be read on

Chongqing, a booming municipality of 32 million people, was set to join a short list of major Chinese cities that have banned indoor smoking in public.

But in August 2020, Zhang Jianmin, head of the state-run monopoly China National Tobacco Corp., paid a visit to local leaders — including the mayor and the powerful head of Chongqing’s branch of the Communist Party.

When Chongqing’s new smoking law was adopted the next month, it included a significant carve-out long sought by the company: Restaurants, hotels and “entertainment venues” such as bars and karaoke clubs could allow smoking in designated areas.

It was another demonstration of strength by China National Tobacco Corp., the largest tobacco company in the world — and one more missed opportunity by China to live up to a key commitment it had made in signing a major international tobacco control treaty 20 years ago this November.

Under that treaty, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, China pledged to enact a national indoor smoking ban, a measure that both protects people from second-hand smoke, and, researchers say, makes smoking less socially acceptable. But in China, the national law never happened, and efforts by municipalities to implement their own bans have been challenged at every turn by the tobacco monopoly, commonly known as China Tobacco.

Other important elements of the WHO treaty also have yet to manifest. China has not banned the marketing of low-tar cigarettes as safer than other products (they aren’t), and has failed to require that tobacco manufacturers disclose many of the cancer-causing toxins in their products.

China’s tobacco addiction, meanwhile, has continued unabated. Smoking rates have barely budged, even as they have plunged in many comparable countries — and as the country has undergone a remarkable economic transformation.

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