University investigates sexual assault claim

Yang Meiping
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics announced on Friday that it had launched an investigation into a teacher accused of sexual assault.
Yang Meiping

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics announced on Friday that it has launched an investigation of a teacher after an online allegation that he had sexually assaulted a student.

The announcement came after a series of posts were widely spread online on Friday. In the posts, a writer using a screen name claimed that a professor at the university’s school of accountancy had locked her in his car and sexually assaulted her on campus a month ago.

The writer said she was admitted into a master’s program in accountancy at the university in June and had been taught by the professor surnamed Qian, who showed excessive kindness to her including sending out-of-hours WeChat messages, calling her "baby" and saying he wanted to embrace her. She posted screenshots of the alleged messages.

She claimed that after class on the night of November 6, she stayed on with classmates to discuss a homework topic. When it was her turn, the cleaner was to close the classroom and Qian offered to drive her to the university gate while claiming to explain the homework on the way.

She claimed that after a short distance, Qian stopped the vehicle, locked the doors, and sexually assaulted her.

She also posted two audio clips, which she said were recorded in the car after the assault. In the clips, a woman is heard to be crying, questioning why the man had done such a thing to her, while the man asks her to treat him as a lover.

She said Qian continued to harass her on WeChat while she collected evidence under the guidance of a lawyer.

She posted further screenshots of WeChat messages, in which Qian admitted to the assault in the car and contained more details.

She said she had already passed all the evidence onto the university.

According to his online profile, Qian is 55 years old and a graduate of the university. He has taught there since 1986 and is now an associate professor. He is also an independent board member of several listed companies.

The university said it had set up a team to investigate the event and that, if the allegations were found to be true, the teacher would be treated in accordance with the law and university regulations.

On December 5, one day before the allegations went viral, the Ministry of Education released details of eight new cases of teachers who had breached their professional code of conduct. Details of four cases were released in April, and six in July.

Among the most recent eight, five have a sexual nature. These include a teacher, Li, at the Pear River College of Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, who harassed a female student via WeChat and had a sexual relationship with another. Li has been fired and his teaching qualification revoked.

In another case, Liu, a teacher at Guiyang Concord College of Sino-Canada, was arrested for inappropriate contact with students and banned from teaching for life.

Wang, principal of a primary school in a village in Liaoning Province, has also been arrested and banned from teaching for life after he was found to have sexually assaulted or raped four students.

Yuan, a private middle school teacher in Lu'an, Anhui Province, has been detained and banned from teaching for life for similar wrongdoing.

A foreign teacher is serving a five-year prison term for sexual offences concerning a girl at an RYB Kindergarten in Qingdao, Shandong Province, and will be expelled from China after serving the term.

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