Worker Attacks Boss With Mop After He Allegedly Sent Her Lewd Messages

A government worker and Chinese Communist Party member was fired this week after a co-worker accused him of sexual harassment and repeatedly hit him in the face with a mop, in a video that has now gone viral.

Footage of the incident in Suihua, in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, was posted to China's Twitter-like microblogging service Weibo. A hashtag about the incident has been shared more than 16 million times.

The video reportedly filmed on Sunday shows the civil servant, later named as Wang Chunhui, sitting at his desk at the Beilin district poverty alleviation office when he is confronted by his colleague. She is identified only by her surname, Zhou.

Zhou, who is flanked and filmed by another unidentified woman, accuses the supervisor of sending her unwanted messages through the WeChat app. She claims he sent a large number of lewd texts and told him that she had at first tried to ignore them.

In the clip, which is filled with expletives, Wang tells her he was "only joking," but this appears to anger Zhou even more. She can be seen grabbing a mop and repeatedly striking him on the face and over the head.

Wang does not retaliate and is seen holding his head in his hands at numerous points during the footage, which was sped up but still ran for 14 minutes.

He apologizes to his co-worker repeatedly, but refuses to follow Zhou to a local police station, which had already been alerted at the start of the confrontation, the video shows.

When Zhou swears at him and calls him "immoral," Wang responds by saying, "I was wrong," and repeats his claim that the messages were sent in jest.

After Wang refuses again to go to the police station, Zhou grabs a chair and appears to sit by the office entrance, blocking it.

The video ends with Zhou hitting Wang with books and other objects on his desk. She douses his face with water from a nearby kettle, which she also throws at him.

China's state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday that the district's disciplinary committee and public security bureau had investigated the harassment claim.

Wang, who was deputy director of the poverty alleviation office, was found guilty of misconduct and stripped of his party and government positions, Xinhua reported. He appears to have retained his Communist Party membership, although the report did not clarify this.

Zhou, who is one of more than 300 workers in the office's public welfare department, was found to have assaulted the civil servant, but would not be punished because of a "mental illness," according to Xinhua. It did not elaborate further.

Beilin police said they were still investigating the harassment claim, which could lead to a civil suit against Wang unless Zhou withdraws the charges.

Social media users were largely supportive of Zhou and her reaction to the alleged harassment, which many said was commonplace in Chinese workplaces.

On Weibo, one user commented: "It's a pity the mop was so clean."

Alleged Harassment Victim Hits Boss With Mop
This screengrab from a video filmed in the Chinese city of Suihua on April 11 shows a government office worker hitting her supervisor with a mop after accusing him of sexual harassment. Weibo