An employee from the Chinese mainland at the Hong Kong branch of China Minsheng Bank was reportedly bullied by a Hong Kong executive due to different stances, as the executive mocked the employee who was supporting local police amid recent riots and urged him to "get back to the mainland."
Industry practitioners are calling for the protection of the personal safety of Chinese mainlanders working in Hong Kong.
A letter asking for help from the employee circulated on Chinese social media Weibo on Tuesday, saying that the person was publicly humiliated a day earlier when he was reminding co-workers to be careful when leaving work due to recent radical protests.
Johnson Chan, the Hong Kong executive of the branch, contemptuously told the employee to "go back to the Chinese mainland" and if the employee felt insecure, "you can call the police to protect you since you have been supporting them."
The Hong Kong mobs have been constantly attacking police officers.
The branch of China Minsheng Bank on Tuesday night officially responded that it firmly supports the "one country, two systems" principle, saying that the executive realized his mistake and formally apologized to the employee, and they have reached a settlement.
Chinese netizens were not satisfied with the "settlement" and expressed their outrage toward the bank.
Chinese-funded enterprises, including China Minsheng Bank, should be unswerving supporters of the Basic Law, and an easy settlement reflects an ambiguous political stance, an employee of the Hong Kong branch of a state-owned financial institution, who preferred not to be identified, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
He noted the security of Chinese mainlanders who are working in Hong Kong should be enhanced, given the current situation.
"The executive's behavior was totally unacceptable," Wendy, a senior manager of an insurance company located in Harbour City in Hong Kong, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
A real democratic and free society is people possessing different opinions still respecting each other, Wendy said, adding that some of the violent criminals have lost their minds.
Enterprises have a responsibility to criticize and stop employees' speech or behavior that might violate regulations and laws, Li Min, a senior partner with Shanghai Hansheng Law Offices, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Given the current sensitive moment in Hong Kong, organizations need to take a firm stance if such bullying is politically motivated, he said. "Only a just and inclusive society could achieve prosperous development."