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Chinese Tech Companies Post Men-Only Job Listings, Report Finds (theverge.com) 438

Major Chinese tech companies like Huawei, Alibaba, and Tencent discriminate against women in their online job listings, a new report from Human Rights Watch found today. Some job postings directly state they are for men only, while others specify that women must have attractive appearances and even be a certain height. The Verge reports: The Human Rights Watch report reveals gender discrimination amongst major tech companies, as in the rest of Chinese society, is common and widespread. Search engine Baidu listed a job for content reviewers in March 2017 stating that applicants had to be men with the "strong ability to work under pressure, able to work on weekends, holidays and night shifts." The conglomerate Tencent, which owns WeChat, the massive game Honor of Kings, and a majority stake in League of Legends, was found to have posted an ad for a sports content editor in March 2017, stating it was looking for "strong men who are able to work nightshifts."

And Alibaba, despite Jack Ma touting the company's inclusiveness, merited an entire case study from the Human Rights Watch report. The report noted the e-commerce giant came under fire in 2015 for posting a job ad on its site for a "computer programmer's motivator" seeking women applicants with physical characteristics like Japanese adult film star Sola Aoi. Alibaba removed the reference to Sola Aoi after media reported on it, but kept the ad on the site. As recently as January this year, Alibaba still mentioned "men preferred" in job listings for "restaurant operations support specialist" positions. Tech companies also often tout the attractive women they've hired as incentives for more men to come on board, according to the HRW report. Both Tencent and Baidu were noted to have posted to their social media accounts interviews with male employees who cited having beautiful women around them as an incentive for working there.

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Chinese Tech Companies Post Men-Only Job Listings, Report Finds

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  • Alternate headline (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:05AM (#56493601)

    Other cultures are actually different, Euro and Euro derived cultures are shocked to discover!

    "This isn't the diversity we had in mind", activists quoted as saying ...

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Given that it's Human Rights Watch and they have a long history (40 years) of reporting on what goes on in China, I doubt this came as much of a surprise to them. Women's rights have long been a concern to them, especially during the one child policy era.

    • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:55AM (#56493903)

      Other cultures are actually different, Euro and Euro derived cultures are shocked to discover!

      "This isn't the diversity we had in mind", activists quoted as saying ...

      I had a discussion with our diversity counselor about this very subject. She was promoting "cherishing" other cultures. My question was "Should we cherish all cultures?

      She said "Of course - all cultures are valid and must be cherished"

      My next question was "What about Saudi Arabia, where you wouldn't even be allowed t drive, much less have many other rights? Where your dress today might get you stoned?"

      She replied "Next Question - someone else?"

      I think it is massively wrong to have "men only" jobs. But do we abandon the dictates of diversity and attempt to impose our cultures dictates on the very cultures we have been told to cherish?

      • by orlanz ( 882574 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @11:00AM (#56494269)

        Sorry, but your Diversity Counselor was ill-prepared on the topic or just didn't care for your question. Your question is very common and asked all the time. She should have faced that question in almost ALL her sessions. Its not an invalid question, nor one without a simple answer. A co-worker asked a similar question and got a pretty good response.

        "Of course - all cultures are valid and must be cherished"
        "What about ...?"

        Just because we say all cultures should be cherished doesn't mean we must accept all aspects of their cultures. The statement appears extreme because the alternative is more dangerous. With the statement, there is an attempt to understand the other culture. With the goal, one culture can more effectively compare & assess their own practices/norms. This leads to an evolution where we incorporate the highlights of the other culture. Eventually, with open doors, both cultures benefit by influencing the other with the best of what they have and removing their worst practices.

        The alternative is to easily dismiss the entire culture based on a few known horrible practices. This is very natural for humans. But it results in siloed societies where each thinks they are the best there is and the rest are barbarians. There is no will nor reason to objectively assess each other and themselves. This results in misunderstandings, and conflicts that only hurt the standard of living of all involved.

        For Saudi Arabia, its a cultural norm to wash your hands before eating (even at restaurants). Families are very important and very big. Their country really puts their citizenry first and well in front of all others. Of course they have a ton of bad practices, but those don't devalue the good. Some of which we can use in the US.

        • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @11:17AM (#56494349) Homepage Journal

          Just because we say all cultures should be cherished doesn't mean we must accept all aspects of their cultures.

          If we don't accept all aspects of their cultures, then we don't cherish them. Cherish means "protect and care for (someone) lovingly", "hold (something) dear", or "keep (a hope or ambition) in one's mind". If you want to change it, you're not protecting and caring for it in its current state. If you hold it dear, you don't want to change it. If it's your hope or ambition, you don't want to change it — you want to implement it.

          We should not cherish cultures which are abusive. And we should cherish our fucking dictionaries so that we can have meaningful conversations.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            The statement was not meant to imply that every aspect of a culture should be cherished without question, merely that the good aspects if it should not be dismissed because they are different to our own.

            You can argue over the semantics but orlanz is still right about this. It's a shame the councillor didn't explain it.

          • by orlanz ( 882574 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @12:24PM (#56494797)

            Dictionary.com: Cherish
            -to hold or treat as dear; feel love for
            -to care for tenderly; nurture
            -to cling fondly or inveterately to

            Note there isn't anything about "all" or "everything" or anything synonymous to that. Cherish doesn't mean blind love of all good and bad. That would be idiotic.

            An example: A mother can cherish her children, but that doesn't mean she condones, nor approves their drug addiction or gang membership.

          • by Strider- ( 39683 )

            Cherish means "protect and care for (someone) lovingly", "hold (something) dear", or "keep (a hope or ambition) in one's mind".

            It's entirely possible to care deeply for someone or something, while recognizing they have flaws, and working to improve them precisely because you do care/cherish them. It's the dichotomy of being human, no one is perfect, everyone has flaws. All we can do is to seek to improve ourselves and help others improve.

          • Just because we say all cultures should be cherished doesn't mean we must accept all aspects of their cultures.

            If we don't accept all aspects of their cultures, then we don't cherish them. Cherish means "protect and care for (someone) lovingly", "hold (something) dear", or "keep (a hope or ambition) in one's mind". If you want to change it, you're not protecting and caring for it in its current state. If you hold it dear, you don't want to change it. If it's your hope or ambition, you don't want to change it — you want to implement it.

            We should not cherish cultures which are abusive. And we should cherish our fucking dictionaries so that we can have meaningful conversations.

            You just won the internet for this week Drinkypoo. A double shot of truth.

        • Sorry, but your Diversity Counselor was ill-prepared on the topic or just didn't care for your question.

          Of course she didn't care for the question. The question is a deal breaker.

          Just because we say all cultures should be cherished doesn't mean we must accept all aspects of their cultures.

          Here's what I believe. I believe that men and women are equal under the law. This does not mean there are no differences in physical or mental charistics. As for cherishing - that is what we should cherish. Equality is what I believe in. And here is the issue. China is getting their chops busted because some of their jobs are for men only.

          Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues. I would early love to hear you make a dissertation on

      • I'd like to adjust that last statement of yours, into a discussion without gender.

        I also think that it's pretty dumb to not let women work.

        I do, however, think it's very dumb to have everyone in a household working a career. I think there's no such thing as a life-work balance if everyone works a job, and works to maintain a household -- there's simply no time left to enjoy the household.

        So what if we "adjust" these other cultural norms to remove "men only" and replace it with "only one human per household

      • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @12:11PM (#56494717) Journal

        This precise conversation got me a disciplinary note as a student in the late 1980s at the University of MN Twin Cities - I was in an anthropology class where the professor and 8? other classmates were women. I was the only man.
        We studied primitive cultures where the professor refused to condemn cannibalism (!) on the basis that it was unreasonable to judge their culture by our western, white standards.
          Later, when we studied female-liberation issues across south Asia and South Africa, I asked your same question - by insisting on the equality of women, aren't we just being cultural imperialists?
        I was not simply ignored, I was flat-out attacked by the professor and fellow-travelers for being regressive, patriarchal, and suggested that perhaps I should look for another class. (I ended up getting a complaint note in my file from the prof...I didn't even know there WERE such stupid things at the University level?)

        But...well, I confess as a younger man, I was much more confrontational and interested in "energetic" debate, so I stayed in the class for the rest of the quarter. Every session I bothered to make a comment, I was either met with stone-cold silence or was the focus for attacks.

        I probably enjoyed it way too much.

    • Here in Romania there are plenty ads looking for women-only, it's obvious from the ad itself because we have genre-specific nouns, for example a male clerk is called "vânztor" whereas a female clerk is called "vânztoare". So when the ad says "vânztoare" it's clearly biased. Nobody gives two shits though.

    • Yeah sure because their so-called 'culture', if that's what this is, is just so fucking great for our species as a whole -- especially when their country makes up a double-digit percentage of all the humans on the planet.
  • what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:06AM (#56493605)

    Both Tencent and Baidu were noted to have posted to their social media accounts interviews with male employees who cited having beautiful women around them as an incentive for working there.

    That's crazy talk; no way do men like being surrounded by beautiful women!

  • That sheds an even worse light on chinese programmers than on chinese companies....

    It's a sad life if the best thing about your job is the gorgeous.... whatever an software developer motivator is.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      That sheds an even worse light on chinese programmers than on chinese companies....

      It's a sad life if the best thing about your job is the gorgeous.... whatever an software developer motivator is.

      It's bad for men to want beautiful women around them?

      They didn't say it was the best thing about their jobs (though so what if it were?)

      interviews with male employees who cited having beautiful women around them as an incentive for working there

  • Hooters (Score:4, Interesting)

    by unixcorn ( 120825 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:23AM (#56493691)

    And yet, the US has Hooters. Hooters gets away with only hiring women as servers because of BFOQ. That's Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications. While they were sued many years ago, they only agreed to put men in other positions but they never agreed to hire men for server roles. How is this different?

    • Re:Hooters (Score:4, Interesting)

      by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:30AM (#56493739)

      And yet, the US has Hooters. Hooters gets away with only hiring women as servers because of BFOQ. That's Bona Fide Occupational Qualifications. While they were sued many years ago, they only agreed to put men in other positions but they never agreed to hire men for server roles. How is this different?

      Our entertainment business (including, ahem, newsreaders) is heavily based on looks too.

      We threw out traditional morality (anything goes! let it all hang out!), and then we keep trying to smuggle bits of it back using SJW-ness. It's kind of a mish mash mess.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        In the UK there is a newsreader called Moira Stuart. When she was eventually let go by the BBC there was a bit of a controversy because it was thought to be due to her age, and a lot of people liked her. She does have a very clear but warm style.

        Anyway, she was later re-hired for BBC Radio 2. Not sure how that fits in to your SJW-driven model...

        • Anyway, she was later re-hired for BBC Radio 2. Not sure how that fits in to your SJW-driven model...

          Too old to let people look at her, so put her on the radio?

      • I'm pretty sure you could come up with data that shows that attractive people produce greater levels of customer satisfaction, higher sales, and so on, so why isn't being good looking a BOFQ for a lot of jobs?

        It's funny, but in IT the majority of women sales people I encounter are way better looking than the male sales people. I had to sit through a sales meeting the other day and the 4 women there were all super attractive -- I don't just mean well dressed, or slim, etc, but were 5/5 on all the sub measur

    • Re:Hooters (Score:5, Funny)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:31AM (#56493741)

      Because nobody wants to look at guys with hugs boobs?

  • by K. S. Van Horn ( 1355653 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:47AM (#56493839) Homepage

    Case in point below. The founder eventually concluded that it was a bad idea from the standpoint of productivity, but it never seems to have occurred to her that her policy was deeply sexist.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/fem... [dailymail.co.uk]

    • by RobinH ( 124750 )
      It's at least an interesting example of what not to do. Damn, that sounded awful!
    • This article is about Samantha Brick, so it's more likely that it was just her personality that ruined it. She wrote an article titled "There are Downsides to Looking This Pretty': Why Women Hate Me for Being Beautiful" so you shouldn't be surprised that she was clueless.

      The fact that the story is in the Daily Mail should ring alarm bells too. Sure enough, they failed to mention any of this and decided to depict the whole thing as "bitches, right?"

      • by RobinH ( 124750 )
        It definitely sounded like bad management. She blamed someone else for messing up the accounting, but ultimately she's responsible. If you don't have a "buck stops here" attitude, then maybe management's the wrong place for you. She talks about picking battles but it seems to me that fighting workplace bullying is a good battle to pick. It could have gone like this, "Here's the workplace harassment policy," and then two weeks later, "you've violated the workplace harassment policy 3 times, getting a ver
  • I think America needs to have a gender equality tariff, as well as a child labor tariff, and other social engineering that we're doing here at home applied to the possibly advantageous business practices of our international competitors. Those companies found to be doing such discrimination would get the tariff. Tariff by company? Can we do that? Lets try it and see if it flies...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:59AM (#56493921)

    This isn't really news to anyone who has lived in China. Someone has found a tech angle to grab headlines, but a more accurate encapsulation would be, "Labor market discrimination is legal and open in China." I lived in China for four years; I'm white, my wife is Indian. There were all kinds of "hire-a-foreigner" jobs (mostly teaching English but a range of other things) that were open to me but not to her, and they were advertised as such. (As opposed to the West I guess where they just don't call you back -- but still, it's worse.) If you want to see some of these postings. go to thebeijinger.com and scroll through the help wanted ads. Some of these postings are for US-headquartered companies, which possibly makes them a violation of US labor law, if anyone wants to pursue that. In the Chinese-language job boards, things can be even weirder. Even the train system openly said that they were looking for women in their 20s as train attendants for the high-speed railway. And that's the government doing the hiring. There isn't any kind of social consensus that discrimination is a bad thing (though plenty of people think it is), so don't expect it to change soon.

    • There isn't any kind of social consensus that discrimination is a bad thing (though plenty of people think it is), so don't expect it to change soon.

      People openly stare and point at physical disabilities too. It's another world.

  • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @10:14AM (#56494013)

    A country with appalling child labor practices, and this is what you have a problem with? Get some god damn priorities, people.

  • They are shown annually [brandinginasia.com] on TV (IIRC, CCTV3) in China.
  • by NoSleepDemon ( 1521253 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @12:00PM (#56494653)
    I bet those dirty Chinese are absolutely shaking in their boots right now. Oh goodness, someone is telling them that they're not being fair! Quick, take to twatter oh ye warriors of feminism, shame those industrious bastards back to the rice fields! Oh, what's that, they don't care? Better call the wambulance.
  • Chinese people will walk up to a black person on the street and say "why are you so black, get out of our country, criminal," and not think twice about it. Ask anyone who lives there.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

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