Viral Video Shows China Factory Staff Slapping Themselves at Team Building Event

A Chinese factory's large team building event has gone viral after determined staff members were filmed kneeling on the floor and slapping themselves across the face.

The footage circulating on Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat were filmed at an event organized on October 21 by furniture factory Meideli, Xi'an-based newspaper Shaanxi Business reported today.

The large-scale company event was by invitation only, with selected employees encouraged to display their determination in front of their peers, a manager told the newspaper.

Meideli, which is based in the city of Dongguan in South China's Guangdong Province, is facing accusations of having a "cultish" company culture, according to comments on Twitter-like service Weibo.

During the event, employees in identical company tops stand in a row and shout at their counterparts a few feet in front of them, the video shows, while several dozen more form a line behind them and wait their turn.

In the footage, the exercise—an apparent show of passion for the job—escalates when some staff drop to their knees and begin slapping themselves across the face. Two men closest to the camera take off their tops and pound the floor.

In an interview with Shaanxi Business, an unnamed employee revealed: "Not every staff member can attend. It was a training event held for the sales department.

"The theme of the day was to create an iron army. It was meant to encourage them."

The term "iron army" refers to an unshakable group of soldier-like staff members who fight unquestioningly for the same cause.

Meideli's brand manager, Zhang Min, told the paper: "Yes, this happened at our company. We outsourced the team building to a third party and invited staff from 12 of our best-performing distributors from across the country.

"The purpose of the training was to promote spiritual growth and create a cohesive team. What you saw was but one scene.

"Our distributors wanted their employees to see the most intense and passionate side of themselves. They did it voluntarily, and decided to show their intensity in this fashion."

Zhang said the company holds no more than one team building event per year.

All of their staff members were in good spirits following the training event, Zhang added.

China factory
File photo: Factory workers in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China. In this photograph taken on October 12, 2020 workers check rice vinegar bottles at the production line during a government organised tour at the Jiangsu Hengshun Group production plant in Zhenjiang, in China's eastern Jiangsu province. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images