Samsung under fire after executives in China seen kowtowing on stage

It seems electronics manufacturer Samsung is hit by yet another scandal - this time on social media after a photograph of Chinese executives bowing deeply on stage was circulated online. 

The gesture which took place at a dealers' meeting at Shijiazhuang, Hebei, was reportedly meant to express deep gratitude to distributors for placing new orders despite the recent scandal surrounding the company's defective Galaxy Note7 smartphone

However, the action received backlash online with some criticising Samsung for humiliating its staff. Some netizens have even said that one executive had apparently applied force to another executive's head to push it down, reported Shanghaiist.

While the gesture is considered acceptable in South Korea, the act of kowtowing is usually reserved as a form of respect for elders in the family or performed for religious reasons. 

In response to the backlash, a Samsung spokesperson said that nobody was forced to bow down. The Chinese executives were, in fact, "deeply touched" that its distributors had placed lots of orders despite its recent woes involving the Note7 device. 

A problem with the phone's lithium ion battery had led to some units catching fire, leading to a global recall and a ban of the device on several airlines.   

Described as Samsung's worst crisis to date, Samsung warned that it would take a hit of more than $5 billion (S$6.9 billion) to its operating profit from the third quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, reported CNBC