Guest Post: A Stalker of Women Invaded My Shanghai Workplace

An reader, who has asked to remain anonymous, sent me a recent story about a stalker in her workplace in Shanghai.

I didn’t really think about sexual assault for the longest time in China, even though as a woman, it was something we always talked about back home in my Western country. Things often seemed different, even safer, over here. But now I realize I was a little naive, especially after what my coworker told me.

We work at a large company in Shanghai. Most of us are women, the majority Chinese, with a few foreigners like me. And some of us have to work evenings. I do too at times but the night never worried me.

But last week, my Chinese coworker came over to me and said, “Did you hear about the stalker at work?”

I was so shocked she used the words “stalker” and “work” in the same sentence. I mean, this is our office. It had felt so comfortable and friendly most days. And people had to swipe a card to get inside. So how could this be?

She said that the guy is from Shanghai and actually used to work for our company. He got a swipecard from a former employee and then hung out around the building during evenings, when bosses are gone but the evening workers (usually women) are still around. He had swiped his way into our department to harass some of the women. She said he had come to harass women more than once.

My coworker didn’t elaborate on what “harass” exactly meant in, but I could tell from the look on her face that it wasn’t anything good.

But it got worse the other night. The guy followed my coworker all the way to her apartment building. I don’t know if he saw her exact apartment or what, but it was chilling enough to know the creep trailed her.

The news has rattled me a bit. I’ve often bicycled home late at night after getting off at work, and would always say how safe it is because there are so many people out on the streets. Now I’m not so sure.

My coworker said she doesn’t want to work in the evening anymore. And I’m asking myself, should I do the same too?

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5 Replies to “Guest Post: A Stalker of Women Invaded My Shanghai Workplace”

  1. Jocelyn,
    You might have the advantage of NOT being a petite Asian and appear to have more physical strength whereby the stalker might have second thoughts about messing with you. A friend once told me that she never worried about such problems when she lived in Thailand because she measured 5 foot ten inches in height.

  2. to the OP,
    your employer is failing in basic security of employees by permitting the ex-employee access to what should be a secure building. This is a failure of duty of care.
    Security should confront this man and remove his card, as he is trespassing on private property.

    If you you meet this stalker, confront him and call him out.
    Chances are he is a coward and can be intimidated easily. Bring support if necessary.
    Call the police if necessary.
    While the Chinese workers my be reluctant to do anything if they are not physically assaulted, the fact that he has access to a private building and is using this access as a means to threaten women, he derserves to have the law thrown at him.

      1. Preventing unauthorised access is a basic security measure, especially at night if (female) employees are expected to stay late. Why have security cards if anyone can get in?
        Where were the security men in all this?
        Why were they not doing their job?

        Where i am now, the company could be sued for negligence even if there were no actual physical interaction with the intruder.

        People may dismiss this and say that no-one was actually harmed, but that is not the point.
        Do you have to wait until an actuall assault takes place before taking action to ensure the safety of your staff?

        I was stalked for a while, and when i told Chinese friends, people dismissed this as just being a guy who liked me. It was not until i took action and confronted the creep myself (with back-up) that he stopped.

        Women these days are being told that they should protect themselves, becasue we have NO idea who these creeps are and what their intentions are.
        And also, to guys, it is NOT endearing or romantic to stalk a woman.

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