Cheetah mobile, the Chinese mobile internet company, recently went through an internal incident concerning sending red packets.
A red packet is a monetary gift which is given during holidays or special. It is a tradition in China for companies to give out red packets before the Chinese new year.
An ex worker from Cheetah told Pandaily that the company may have excluded foreign employees from the list of receiving year-end red packets, which was later denied as a misunderstanding due to the online rules for distributing the money.
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According to the company review website Glassdoor.com, Cheetah Mobile was rated 2.8/5 by foreign employees, with a limited review sample of 69. Among the good reviews, there are some brief mentions about poor management and internal rivalry, but hardly any about discrimination cases.
An employee from Cheetah Mobile sent a WeChat moment saying, “Why can’t overseas staff confirm authentication for the red packets? What’s with the so-called “internet company in the northern hemisphere that resembles Silicon Valley the most?” Then some explained under the post that it’s just a misunderstanding due to systematic problems that happened to exclude foreigners because they don’t have a Chinese ID number.
As written on Cheetah Mobile’s public Wechat account on Jan. 29, the red packets were given out to both current and ex employees. Insiders say that anyone who works or worked for Cheetah Mobile had to provide two forms of identification to receive their red packets. The first is their Cheetah email ID, and the second their national ID. For foreign staff, an alternative would be to put in their passport numbers, which has to be stored in the company’s system.
“You do realize it’s an IT company with hundreds of engineers. And adding passport support should not be that big of a deal.” Insider said.
The red packet is said to have mounted to 1 million in total, ranging from 999 yuan, to 100 something. Online rules for distributing the money may have caused the misunderstanding.
Pandaily then confirmed with other employees from Cheetah Mobile. According to Om Buffalo, global marketing manager of Cheetah Mobile, “I am a foreigner and I work at Cheetah Mobile. I received my red envelope. I don’t know who told you that, but it is 100% false. Patently untrue.”
“A few people (not all foreigners) had trouble accessing it through normal WeChat, so they had to redeem it through our Enterprise WeChat account, but the admin team resolved the issue immediately.” Om said.
Featured photo credit to Cheetah Mobile