Bayer fires Australian Chinese employee after she breaks home quarantine in Beijing - SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

Bayer fires Australian Chinese employee after she breaks home quarantine in Beijing

An Australian Chinese woman has lost her job at the German pharmaceutical giant Bayer after viral videos showed her confronting Beijing police while breaking home quarantine.

The clips shared on Weibo on March 16, which have since collectively amassed over 20 million views and nearly 1 million likes, show the woman — identified by the German company as Ms. Liang — ignoring police officers’ directives to go home after being caught going out without implementing protective measures.

In the videos, Liang, who says she returned to Beijing on March 15 after traveling outside China, can be seen running in the street in a workout outfit. When asked by a cop whom she bumps into to “stop,” Liang ignores the order and keeps running away.

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 12.26.46 PM

The initial encounter, captured on video by the police officer, takes around six seconds. Judging by a second clip, the cop brought a few colleagues to wait outside Liang’s apartment. Liang was apparently caught off guard by the presence of law enforcement officers. “Help! I’m being harassed!” she is shown shouting. She then demands to see senior authorities. When told by a cop that she has violated home isolation rules, Liang responds, “I need to run. I need to exercise. Who will take care of me if I get sick? Will you?”

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 2.02.22 PM copy

A third video shows the police officers having a conversation with the woman at her door, persuading her to undergo a 14-day home quarantine for herself and for the sake of public health. After checking Liang’s Australian passport, the cops tell her that she is subject to the coronavirus guidelines issued by the Chinese Ministry of Public Health, which requires people arriving from overseas — including both Chinese citizens and foreigners — to isolate themselves for at least two weeks. (As of Monday, those who arrive from overseas are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a designated hotel; Liang got in the day before, so she was only required to quarantine herself at home.)

At one point in the video, Liang says that she felt intimidated because of the “bad attitude” of the officers, criticizing them for “blowing things out of proportion.” In response, a cop questions Liang’s intention of returning to Beijing, as the coronavirus has spread globally and sent countries worldwide under lockdown. “Why did you return to China? Did Australia take good care of you? Only your home country is responsible at this time,” the cop says.

Screen Shot 2020 03 18 at 2.02.39 PM copy

The clip has blown up on social media, and the response has been overwhelmingly negative. One called (in Chinese) Liang “a piece of trash” who thought she was above Chinese laws because she had Australian citizenship, while others asked authorities to file criminal charges or deport her.

After the clips went viral, Liang’s employer, Bayer, released a statement (in Chinese) on March 17 announcing that she had been fired.

“We always comply with laws and regulations in the countries where our local offices are located. We also firmly support Chinese efforts to curb the epidemic,” Bayer said, adding that all of the Bayer employees in China need to abide by coronavirus rules implemented by local governments.

Bayer’s swift response to the controversy has been widely applauded by Chinese internet users, who strongly condemned the Beijing police for being too soft on Liang. “The government is so embarrassing! The police officers failed to hold Liang accountable. I’m glad that Bayer decided to enact its own regulations,” a Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).

Share
Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

7 Comments

  1. angman Reply

    a lot of balls for a country that gets tough on foreigners to cover uo its failure to the outbreak from the onset. this is chest thumping chicoms that were non existent in WW@ when japan came calling when we were younger in nyc all the fuck we heard was about the famine in china millins were starving and we must donate money to save them

  2. A commenter Reply

    Ironically, Bayer were one of the first companies to order their work from home office staff back to the office, 3 weeks ago already. /// indeed.

  3. B Z Reply

    Oh great. She will soon be able to run freely on Australian roads! good luck with that! But when in Rome, live like a Roman.

  4. Jim Reply

    I support the Chinese government. I am also glad to see that Bayer supported the law and took action. I think it’s ignorant on her part that she thought just because she has an Australian passport, she could do anything she wanted. No matter what your nationality is or what passport you hold, when you are in another country, you object their laws.

  5. Rober Moore Reply

    Bayer is another company groveling to a dictatorship country that controls the media message. Here is a fact: If China banned the sale and consumption of wild animals, like bats and pangolins, there would be no Wuhan Virus/ Covid-19!!!!!! There also would not be this push to extinction of Rhinos (for their horns), Pangolins, elephants for their horns, sharks for their fins, Seahorses, etc. This virus started in China! Regardless of political correctness, the thousands of deaths outside of China and the devastation of the world’s economies are directly attributable to China. Business and governments should file lawsuits and claims with the Chinese government for the damages they are incurring. The worst part perhaps? China is still promoting its “traditional Chinese medicine” which is a significant driver of the killing of wild animals (bats, tigers, rhinos, elephants, sharks, bears, seahorses, etc.) proving it did not learn anything from this experience!

  6. Dan Dan Reply

    Rober Moore you moron, this has nothing to do with dictatorship. More like respect other countries quarantine restrictions and respect life you idiot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.