Alcohol types

The hashtag about 4 types of drinking behavior that will lead to legal problems is trending in China

  • Over the weekend, dozens of Chinese state media published or posted warnings against social drinking.
  • A person who persuades someone else to get more drunk will be held responsible for the consequences, Chinese state media CCTV said.
  • It’s unclear what sparked the flurry of reports, but it comes as China cracks down on social and commercial consumption.

Encourage your drunk friend to take another sip, and you’ll be held legally responsible if they have an accident, Chinese state media CCTV said.

On Saturday, the broadcaster described three other laws that could cause trouble for local business people or revelers.

According to CCTV, civil courts in China can also hold someone legally responsible for: failing to escort a drunk companion to safety or send them to a hospital if necessary; persuading someone to drink while knowing that they have an alcohol allergy or alcohol adverse condition; and not to prevent a drunk person from driving.

These warnings are not new; China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate released a video detailing the four guidelines in February. But dozens of state-affiliated media outlets and organizations spread the same rhetoric on their social media pages and websites over the weekend, including Xinhua Daily News, China Youth Daily and local government bulletins.

On Monday, the hashtag #4drinkingbehaviorsthatrequirelegalresponsibility racked up 280 million page views on social media platform Weibo.

It’s unclear exactly what sparked this weekend’s string of headlines, but it follows several high-profile drunk driving cases that have captured national attention. A government report over the weekend cited a case in September where a drunken man drowned after driving his car into a river. His father sued five other people who had been drinking with his son and failed to stop him from getting into his car, and they paid the eldest child $2,350 each in damages.

Last week, a drunk woman who crashed her Maserati was recorded telling police to call a man named ‘Yumei’ to fix the problem for her, prompting netizens to raise questions about corruption among officials. And in August, a drunk man who fell asleep at the wheel blocked a road for 40 minutes in Jiangsu province.

This weekend’s media push comes amid Beijing’s crackdown on China’s drinking culture, after an Alibaba employee alleged she was sexually assaulted by her supervisor and a client on a work trip in July.

In August, China’s top anti-corruption watchdog called the country’s drinking culture “vile” and said cases of abuse stem from a “toxic work environment” and of a “lack of transparency”.

China’s Drinking Culture

Alcohol consumption is pervasive in Chinese corporate culture, where employees and managers build relationships with customers or each other by consuming large amounts of alcohol. Refusing an invitation to drink and dine with a manager “would be considered extremely disrespectful, and no employee wishing to advance their career would dare to consider rejecting the offer”, an expert told the BBC.

Most people commented on their disgust at the pressure of drinking during business, otherwise known as “wine table culture,” on Weibo posts from this weekend’s slew of articles.

“If the boss is present, then he and anyone who persuades an employee to drink should both be held accountable. Because most of the time when it happens it’s to appease the boss,” one said. of the best comments with 33,000 likes.

“I really despise wine table culture. If you want to drink, drink yourself,” said another.

Thomas Talhelm, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business who specializes in research on Chinese corporate culture, told Insider that the crackdown on corporate alcohol use is making likely part of China’s broader efforts to root out corruption.

“That’s part of the moralism of the current regime…Drinking isn’t corruption per se, but in the minds of a lot of people it is. In their minds, these are things that the elite do and who are disreputable,” said Talhelm, who has studied Chinese business practices for 15 years.

He added that while drinking alcohol in business in China is widely seen as harmful, it is also a way for local businesspeople to overcome social barriers. “When researchers place people from different cultures in this scenario, when negotiation requires information sharing, people in Asia tend to do worse,” he said.