Company Sparks Controversy by Rejecting Applicants With Unlucky Phone Numbers

The superstitious manager of a Chinese education company has come under fire for rejecting people with ‘5’ as the last digit of their phone number.

Chinese news outlets have been reporting the bizarre case of an education company in Shenzhen, Guangdong that allegedly rejects job applications of people who have ‘5’ as the fifth digit in their phone numbers, because the boss considers it back luck. Such applicants are advised to change their phone numbers if they are truly interested in working at the company. The bizarre condition, which has nothing to do with competencies or work ethics, has sparked a heated online debate in China, where superstition is still a big part of daily life.

Photo: James Sutton/Unsplash

The hashtag “Company Doesn’t Hire People Whose Phone Number Has 5 as 5th Digit” spread like wildfire soon after the case made news in China, with many scratching their heads about how an education company could have such a ridiculous recruiting policy. However, there were also comments from superstitious folks who seemed to understand and agree with the manager’s decision.

What’s On Weibo recently reported that one blogger by the name of Jimenjun, who specializes in astrology and numerology, explained how the bizarre hiring condition was most likely inspired by the ancient Chinese divination text I Ching or Yi Jing, also known as the “Book of Changes,” which includes the theory of multiple 5s being considered unfavorable.

Jimenjun added that a person with ‘5’ as the fifth digit in their phone number might easily clash with their superiors and also bring bad luck to their boss.

“My mum told me that it would be best if my phone number did not contain a 0 or 5, so there’s not a single 5 in there,” one Weibo user commented on the story.

Photo: Ralph Hutter/Unsplash

Generally, the feedback on the unnamed company’s hiring policy has been negative. Many believe that regardless of whether a manager is superstitious, such practices have no place in the modern world and that the rejection of candidates on their phone numbers could be considered discrimination.

“It’s the 21st century, and there are still such superstitious bosses. Why don’t you just hire a fortune-telling Feng-shui Master?” one person commented.

Posted in News        Tags: , , , , , ,