Video Credit: AsiaWire
This is the moment an intern from tech giant Tencent dangles her flatmates cute cat by the tail as it meows in distress before booting the helpless creature with full-force kick.
Tencent, which is the sixth largest internet company in the world, has vowed to end their relationship with the young woman if the allegations from the city of Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong Province are proven true.
Distressing images shared by the flatmate, who has not given her name, have been viewed tens of millions of times on social media, with a number of posts having also been removed by internet moderators for as yet unspecified reasons.
They show the intern, named as Dong Yixuan, returning to her flat on 27th April and finding the ginger British Shorthair named ‘Mian Mian’ waiting by the door.
She proceeds to nudge it around the sitting room with her feet, not allowing the animal to rest, and then holds the cat up by its tail for more than three minutes, videos show.
Dong ignores the ginger cat’s distressed meowing and continues to dangle it by its tail, with subsequent footage showing her kicking the animal and chasing it around the sitting room and kitchen.
The cat’s owner, who goes by the username ‘vseacuvuenm’ on Weibo – the microblogging platform regarded as China’s equivalent to Twitter – has seen one of her posts shared more than 100,000 times in less than 24 hours.
Picture Credit: AsiaWire
Currently on holiday in Thailand, she claims to have been alerted to the abuse by the motion-activated security camera in their sitting room which sent a notification to her phone.
She then watched as her flatmate ignored her calls and texts, and continued to abuse the defenceless cat for “over an hour”, she wrote.
She has shared chat logs in which Dong – an intern at Tencent’s Technology Engineering Group, or TEG – alleges her actions were a response to the British Shorthair having done a wee on her bed.
The cat owner said she had downloaded all the video evidence and planned to take the matter to authorities upon her return.
Her cat is also understood to be in the care of another friend.
Tencent, which owns the hugely popular instant-messaging and social media application WeChat, said in a statement on 30th April that it would end Dong’s internship at TEG if the accusations are proven true.
The tech giant said it would also assist in providing her with counselling.
On the same day, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which Dong attends, said it was trying to contact her in order to better understand the incident and related accusations.
The university said it “condemns any inappropriate or cruel behaviour towards animals”.
Dong’s social media page has been flooded with comments from angry social media users, who have revealed that she was criticised similarly in May 2018 in another cat abuse scandal.
Keith Guo, PETA Asia’s press officer for China, told Asia Wire in a statement: “Any disputes should be deal with with the pet’s owner in a calm and reasonable manner, and abusing animals under any circumstances is wrong.
“I applaud Tencent’s statement. PETA hopes more businesses will follow suit and take a similar ‘zero-tolerance’ stance towards employees who abuse animals.”