Chinese tech firm Xiaomi issued an apology on Sunday for one of its staff member's offensive remarks about students majoring in Japanese, at a recruitment fair at Zhengzhou University.
The official statement on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform, said that the company apologizes for the employee's remarks and has already reprimanded him. To make sure similar incidents would not happen again, the company will strengthen disciplinary training for employees in the future.
The announcement from Xiaomi. /Screenshot
Zhengzhou University held a college job fair on Friday evening, in an event that mimicked speed dating between companies and this year's graduating class.
However, Weibo user @bikulixita posted a public letter written by her friend on her own account later that night, claiming that Qin Tao, a Xiaomi staff member, told students that "If you are an English or Arabic major, then you can join us because we have overseas business. If you are students majoring in Japanese, then you can leave now, or I suggest you to engage in the 'film' industry."
Li Min (pseudonym), one of the university's Japanese majors told Henan Business Daily that she came to the talk after finding out the recruitment had no major requirements. Listening to Qin's insulted speech, Li and her classmates took away their resumes and left the presentation.
"We are all adults, and we are not stupid either," Li said.
The incident quickly spread on Weibo, and Xiaomi has come under fire because of its staff's discriminatory words, with thousands of netizens asking Xiaomi's chief executive Lei Jun to explain the remarks.
Netizens comments under Xiaomi's chief executive Lei Jun's post. /Screenshot
In response to the enraged netizens, Qin made an apology to the students studying Japanese who were at the recruiting event on its Weibo account on Saturday.
"Because of my improper words, I would like to extend my sincere apology to you," Qin said. "My insulting remarks misled that our company does not recruit Japanese major students, which makes you feel unfairly treated; Secondly, my words about Japanese major students to go into film industry has made others burst into laughing and hurt you."
According to Xiaomi's statement on Sunday, Qin has personally apologized to the students involved and his apology has been accepted by students.
"Sometimes the speech at public spaces is only personal remarks, but to some extent, the remarks also represent your company," a Weibo user going by the name @ershouyishujia noted.