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Sunday, September 26, 2021

#MeToo: China court dismisses landmark sex harassment case


A Beijing court has thrown out a landmark sexual harassment case brought against one of the country’s most famous TV hosts.

It ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support Zhu Jun’s case.

Mr Zhu was accused by the plaintiff of forcibly groping and kissing her in 2014 while she was his intern.

The case sparked China’s #MeToo movement and raised awareness about women’s rights.

Chinese courts rarely hear such cases, and the country only recently passed legislation outlining the definition of sexual harassment.

Zhou Xiaoxuan, better known online as Xianzi, first made her claims against Mr Zhu in an online essay in 2018.

The article went viral, prompting many others to come forward and share their own stories of sexual harassment.

That same year, she filed a lawsuit against Mr Zhu, a well-known host at state broadcaster CCTV. Mr. Zhu has denied all of the allegations.

Zhu Jun is a prominent TV star in China

Following a final hearing on Tuesday, the Haidian district court in Beijing issued a brief statement dismissing the case because Ms Zhou’s evidence was “insufficient to prove claims that Mr Zhu engaged in sexual harassment” against her.

Ms Zhou said she intends to appeal and thanked her supporters, many of whom had gathered outside the court on Tuesday night.

Mr Zhu has filed a separate lawsuit against the 28-year-old for allegedly harming his reputation and mental well-being.

The dismissal of Xianzi’s case comes amid growing calls in China for justice for victims of sexual harassment or assault.

Last week, a court in the north-eastern Shandong province threw out another high-profile case brought by a female employee of tech giant Alibaba, who alleged she was raped by a manager.

In July, Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu was arrested after several women came forward alleging rape and sexual coercion.

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