#MeToo in China: Xian Zi’s Sexual Harassment Case is dismissed

#MeToo in China: Xian Zi’s Sexual Harassment Case is dismissed
Source: AP Photo/Mark Shiefelbein

Due to lack of evidence, Haidian District Peoples Court in Beijing has closed Zhou Xiaoxuan’s case of sexual harassment against a famous broadcaster, named Zhu Jun on September 14. Zhou Xiaoxuan accused him of forcibly kissing and inappropriately touching her when she was a China Central Television (CCTV) intern in 2014.

The case was initially brought to light in 2018 when Zhou Xiaoxuan (also known as Xian Zi) wrote an article about it and filed the case in court.

The story received widespread publicity and is the reason why the #MeToo campaign was raised in China. Zhou Xiaoxuan’s instance prompted other women to follow the example and report other sexual harassment cases.

However, the legacy of the movement is still uncertain. Such cases are rarely dealt with by the courts and are mostly considered as workplace disputes. China has only recently, in January 2021, passed legislation that legally defines sexual harassment.

The CCTV presenter himself denied all accusations from Xiaoxuan and filed a retaliatory lawsuit, accusing the woman of harming his reputation and mental health.

Since the decision of the Court, the woman has already stated that she will proceed with an appeal.

Although evidence is difficult to provide, as only hard proofs such as video recordings are considered legitimate, such high-profile cases become a steppingstone in bringing justice to assault victims in China.


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