(Yicai Global) Oct. 31 -- Samsung Electronics Co. [KRX:005930] has denied news it forced Chinese employees to kneel to dealers, but a Samsung representative conceded to Yicai Global under condition of anonymity that its staff did in fact kneel to dealers to express gratitude for their continued product orders, but that this differs from info circulated on the Internet.
A netizen called "Bu Lao de Lao Hui" revealed that, at its latest ordering meeting in Shijiazhuang -- capital of eastern Hebei province -- Samsung forced its China management team to collectively kneel to provincial-level dealers and even pressed their heads down to force them to kowtow. The uploaded photos, appear both recent and highly authentic. Notably, the netizen claimed to be the world's first to suffer an exploding replacement Samsung Galaxy Note 7 -- said to be safe.
Samsung has said it did not force its Chinese staff to perform this South Korean ritual. Since its dealers have continued many orders for other Samsung products after the Note 7 incidents, Samsung's South Korean executives knelt to dealers to show their gratitude and respect. Chinese executives also allegedly knelt on the floor.
Kneeling signals respect in Korean culture. Samsung apparently was unaware of its different significance for Chinese, in whose socialist view it is a relic of feudalistic oppression.