A Chinese state-owned business has responded to online criticism after being accused of installing cameras in employee restrooms.
Battery manufacturer China Aviation Lithium Battery (CALB) denied reports that it has been using surveillance cameras in its restrooms to monitor employees who break its non-smoking policy.
The company sparked outrage online after images of its purported employees hiding in the restroom while smoking emerged on social media.
The company reportedly publishes such images along with each of the offenders’ punishments to warn other employees against disobeying rules. Two men were reportedly fired, while a third received a warning and lost his monthly bonus.
Social media users called out the company for allegedly violating the privacy of its employees.
“The company should be punished for abusing surveillance cameras,” wrote a commenter.
“Don’t they know there are devices called smoke detectors that are useful for catching smokers?” a user asked.
“They treat people like animals, without the slightest respect and humanity,” commented another.
According to Sichuan news app Red Star News, a company staff member revealed that the surveillance cameras were set up earlier this year.
“The cameras will definitely catch private moments, but frankly speaking, the policy has advantages and disadvantages,” the staffer reportedly said when asked about privacy violation concerns.
CALB, which is China’s third-largest electric vehicle (EV) battery maker, reported 111.5 million yuan (approximately $15.8 million) in net profit last year.