Does Huawei Best Represent Communism? PWC Calls In The Lawyers
Staff at accounting and consultancy firm PwC who ran a trivia night that asked the question ‘What best represented communism’ while showing a Huawei logo and as other dressed up as a bat from Wuhan have faced criticism from their bosses who also didn’t take likely to staff mocking China, Chinese Companies and Chinese accents.
The event became public when it was distributed to social media and Instagram, PWC acts for some of the worlds biggest technology brands, including the likes of Dell, IBM, Disney and Xerox. They also have 200,000 clients worldwide 250 of those clients are major Chinese Companies who are listed on the New York stock Exchange alone.
The Company that has a large number of Chinese clients has now sought legal advice following what has been described as management outrage over two senior executives mocking Chinese accents in a skit about the outbreak of COVID at a Wuhan location.
Last Thursday’s trivia event apparently contained an allegedly racist trivia question in which a series of company logos were shown including Chinese tech company Huawei with contestants asked which best represented communism.
The night trivia event was one of many runs by the company, now PwC is investigating the attitude of senior company management to China and Chinese nationals.
The behaviour of two HR executives will now be investigated by a People and Ethical Conduct Panel, with potential disciplinary action or termination an outcome.
According to the Australian, PwC chief executive Tom Seymour has apologised to staff that attended the event for the incident, which he said, “did not reflect the values and culture of our firm and which has caused discomfort and offence”.
“The behaviour included two racist and offensive sketches which, whilst unintentional, were thoughtless and harmful,” he said in an email that was sent to staff after the event.
One Australian executive who works for PWC told ChannelNews “The firm has some big Chinese clients, and they are worried about the fall out as they did not expect the skits to become public. It would be interesting whether PWC management in China would respond the same way if staff were taking the micky out of Australians or Australian Companies that are currently suffering following decisions by the communist Chinese Government who PWC does work for”.
Tom Seymour the CEO wrote “On behalf of all the team at PwC, I am extremely disappointed that this incident has occurred,”.
“We have shared communications with our partners and staff reminding them to consider how our behaviour can impact others. Put simply, our ask is that our people put themselves in other people’s shoes.”
Mr Seymour urged staff to “speak up” if they saw behaviour “that doesn’t feel right and is inappropriate”.
In Australia PWC employs a lot of former Hong Kong and Chinese nationals.
PwC said Mr Seymour would hold further company webcasts to discuss the broader issue of inclusion at the firm later this week.
He added “We aspire to be an inclusive and caring organisation. We have to work harder to meet this goal.”
PwC said it would expedite the investigation process, aiming to resolve the matter within the week.
In a post the Instagram page warned the incident would “hit the mainstream soon”.
The page offers anonymous submission of tips.