Sexist 'Naked Run' Stunt Lands Hainan Mall in Hot Water

By Jonathan Zhong, November 21, 2018

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What would you say if your boss offered you RMB10,000 to run around butt-naked? 

While you may find that to be an outlandish request, it’s exactly what one shopping mall in Hainan was encouraging their female employees to do.

On November 19, Haikou Youyi Shopping Mall (海口友谊商场) thought it was a good idea to feature naked women in the celebration of their 12th anniversary, hanging a banner that read: “To celebrate our 12th anniversary, if our WeChat articles get 880,000 views, 10 of our female employees will run around naked!”

banners-encouraging-women-to-run-naked.jpg
Images via 海南微时代/Weibo

In another banner, the mall can be seen recruiting 10 female employees to perform the stunt, stating that anyone who could run for 10 minutes would be paid RMB10,000 in return.

The mall quickly realized it was a bad idea and had to cancel the promotional stunt when local authorities showed up and ordered them to remove the banners. Watch the video below as chengguan officials 'educate' an organizer on the negative impacts of the event (VPN off):

In the aftermath, organizers of the event have been suspended from their position, according to Sina.com, with the leader of the planning team, Feng Xuehui, publishing a video online in which he makes a personal apology. He said that the event was his idea and that it was meant to be 'an internal activity' to motivate employees but not to be put into practice. 

"All of the employees on-site were females who were mostly born in the 1990s. Young people like using internet slang and we thought by using this slang, it would help to motivate our employees," said an unidentified staff member, referring to the banners' use of the word luoben (裸奔), which literally translates as 'running naked.'

Photos of the banners went viral online and triggered a storm of criticism.

Under one Weibo post, a user wrote “shame on them for being so disrespectful towards women!”

Another joked, “this is plain discrimination against men! Why wouldn’t they offer men the same opportunity to make money?”

But it seems that particular netizen spoke too soon, as another user pointed out that the mall did, in fact, offer men the same opportunity back in 2016 and posted the pictures below showing a group of males walking the street with only a piece of cloth, which has the mall’s name printed on it, covering their private parts.

friendship-mall-naked-running-2016.png
Screengrab via 海南微时代/Weibo

So far, the mall has been fined RMB900 for putting out banners in a public area without being granted permission and has also issued a letter of apology on their Wechat account. 

[Cover image via cankaoxiaoxi.com]

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