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Tencent Company Party Subjects Female Employees to Humiliating Oral Sex ‘Game’

3rd World Internet Conference - Day 13rd World Internet Conference - Day 1
A speech about WeChat by Tencent is delivered at the 3rd World Internet Conference (WIC) on Nov. 16, 2016 in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, China. VCG VCG via Getty Images

A disturbing seven-second recording has recently surfaced of a Tencent office party. The video shows two women, identified as Tencent employees by Shanghaiist, attempting to use their mouths to open bottles of water held between male workers’ legs. In the video, a crowd of onlookers cheers them on, and photographers snap pictures.

The video was shared on YouTube by Shanghaiist.

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The clip has met with backlash from members of the Chinese public online, who say it highlights pervasive sexism at the company, and in Chinese tech culture as a whole.

Tencent, which runs the WeChat messaging service, released a statement to Sina News last week, apologizing and saying that employees responsible for the incident were being disciplined.

The incident highlights continuing problems with sexism in the Chinese tech world, where CEOs have made disparaging comments about women and company events have featured female porn stars. According to Bloomberg, none of Tencent’s top executives, board members, or division chiefs are women.

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While a similar instance would be unlikely to take place in the U.S. tech sector, it’s important to acknowledge that gender bias is nonetheless a problem in Silicon Valley. Such idealized workplaces as Apple and Google have faced instances of sexism, and female engineers are subject to a huge pay gap compared to male counterparts.