Bianlifeng, the operator of Chinese staff-less stores and smart vending machines, asked its employees to take a test covering various math questions and vowed to fire those who failed such tests.
This move backfired and got exposed on China’s twitter-like social media Sina Weibo.
Zhuang Chenchao, founder of Bianlifeng, later responded in an internal email that a headquarter-based employee’s mathematic and logical capabilities are imperative as he/she needs to make numerous small decisions based on mathematic and logical evaluation. He added that it would be very hard for those without good mathematic and logical capabilities to perform well in convenience store business.
Zhuang also dismissed external speculation that the company was under poor financial conditions and needed to downsize, adding that Bianlifeng had several billion yuan in cash reserve.