‘That’s insane’: woman told to give up Jay Chou concert for team-bonding trip stirs outrage on Chinese social media

A company team leader has been slammed by mainland social media for asking an employee to give up a concert by Mandopop King Jay Chou to attend an office bonding event.

The employee, a woman from central China’s Shanxi province, goes by the name @Aiyouweiya on Chinese social media platform Douban.

In early September, she complained her supervisor asked her to cancel her plan to go to Chou’s concert and instead join the company’s team-bonding trip scheduled for the same week.

Taiwanese singer and musician Jay Chou, known as the “King of Mandopop”, has been holding concerts around China since May as part of his The Carnival World Tour.

The 44-year-old star debuted more than 20 years ago and he continues to enjoy unparalleled popularity in mainland China. Tickets to Chou’s September 21 concert in the Shanxi capital of Taiyuan were snapped up in 30 seconds, according to Chinese media.

Mandopop King Jay Chou continues to enjoy unparalleled popularity in mainland China and is the most popular Chinese singer in East Asia and other Chinese communities across the world. Photo: Getty Images

Ticket scalpers have been selling these concert tickets for inflated prices – twice or three times the original prices of between 500 and 2,000 yuan (US$70-US$275).

The employee said she was not a Jay Chou fan, but she bought the ticket in February and she had been looking forward to the concert for months. She had talked openly in the office about her concert plans, she said, so it would be impossible to use another excuse to skip the company trip.

“I have completely no interest in the team-bonding activity,” @Aiyouweiya said, “and it isn’t worth sacrificing my concert.”

The employee said she had no interest in the team-bonding trip and many online observers supported her going to the concert. Photo: Shutterstock

Mainland online observers found the team leader’s request insane.

“Choose Jay Chou of course,” said one Weibo commenter. “You can find another job, but you might not snap up another Jay Chou concert ticket again.”

Another commented on Douban: “You should ask your team leader to pay for the whole team to bond at Jay Chou’s concert.”

A third said on Douban that company bonding events were a waste of time: “I wouldn’t go to the team-bonding activity even if I didn’t have a Jay Chou concert to go to.”

In February, a Chinese company was widely ridiculed after it offered to replace all staff members’ year-end bonuses with a group trip that included a banquet of beef and lamb in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in northwest China.

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