Chinese bank employee slapped by executive for refusing to drink

The bank has issued an apology after the employee recounted his experience on social media.

Two senior executives at a Chinese bank have reportedly been disciplined after a new employee who refused to drink alcohol at a work dinner was slapped and insulted.

Xiamen International Bank issued a statement on Sunday saying that the incident happened last Thursday and apologized for the “drunken misconduct” of two directors.

The bank became aware of the incident after the employee recounted his experience on WeChat, a Chinese messaging app. But the episode really took off on social media when the bank apologized on Monday to the employee, whom it identified only by his last name, Yang.

In the message he posted in a group chat on Friday, he said he had sensed that his abstinence would become an issue. He had alerted his boss before the banquet that he did not drink for personal reasons. But the boss still pressed him to swap his beverage for an alcoholic one.

“After a while when everyone was slightly drunk, one of the bosses walked up to me and … slapped me in the face and insulted me verbally. He asked if I was stupid because I didn’t drink when the boss made a toast…For a new employee like me, this has ruined any good feelings I had about the financial industry,” said Yang in a social media post.

According to the South China Morning Post, the bank’s HR department said both managers would be given a serious warning while the executive who slapped the employee would have six months of his bonus deducted. The other director lost three months’ worth of his bonus.