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Are you a son of a beast? A new take on corporate codes of conduct…

Disobedient workers are ‘sons of beasts’,  apparently.

A number of employees of a south China factory have been fired after refusing to sign guarantees in which they have to declare they are “sons of a beast” if they break their commitments to the company, reported Guangzhou-based Yangcheng Evening News.

The company in Shenzhen city, whose name was not fully revealed in the newspaper report, requires it employees to sign written pledges that contain more than 30 articles including “loyalty to the factory” and “be respectful to superiors.”

The fifteenth article has caused the most controversy. It requires applicants to swear that if they break any of the articles they are “chu sheng” or ‘born by a beast’ which usually refers to a farm animal. The curse is serious in Chinese language.

Some 200 employees have signed the agreement — those who refused were fired.

No legalese or beating about the bush in this particular code of conduct then…

Some compare chu sheng (which on its own means “livestock”) to the English insult “son of a bitch” (although there already is a direct version of that — or gou niang yang de).

But in Chinese the phrase carries much more gravity — people both young and old would be very upset, even enraged, if this slur was slung in their direction.

It’s a much more severe insult than, say, “you are my grandson” (or ni shi wo sun zi), but not quite on the same level as something like “**** your mother” or cao ni ma) or “**** eight generations of your ancestors” (or cao ni ba bei zi zu zong).

From www.shanghaiist.com

Paul French, China Editor
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