Shanghai university sacks professor over alleged sexual assault of student, as social media post goes viral

An associate professor has been sacked by a university in Shanghai over an allegation that he locked one of his students in his car and sexually assaulted her.

Qian Fengsheng, who worked for the accountancy faculty at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE), has also resigned as independent director of three listed companies after a detailed online post about the claims went viral, the three companies have announced.

In a statement on Monday night, the university said Qian’s teaching licence and academic title would be revoked over the misconduct.

“Our investigation concluded that Qian Fengsheng seriously contravened professional ethics as a teacher, and caused an extremely bad social influence,” the university said.

According to the initial online post on Friday night by the alleged victim, whose identity was not disclosed, Qian, 55, sexually assaulted the student on November 16 after offering her a lift while answering her queries on the subject he teaches.

SUFE said later on Friday night that an investigation had been launched.

A further post on Monday, on Weibo, said the student had left the police station that morning after reporting the incident the previous evening. Shanghai police did not respond to an inquiry about the case by the South China Morning Post.

The initial post, published on WeChat, China’s most popular social media platform, said that the woman had asked some questions after attending Qian’s class, and he suggested they discuss the matter as they walked from the faculty building.

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He then suggested that he give her a lift to the campus gate and that they continue their discussion in the car – only to drive them to a deserted road and allegedly assault her in the locked vehicle, the post said.

It added that after the incident the student had managed to secretly record the conversation in the vehicle.

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Recordings of the alleged victim crying and asking why the alleged assault had occurred were included in the post, along with harassing text messages the post said had been sent before and since the incident. Qian admitted his behaviour in text messages, according to screenshots posted.

Qian had been teaching at SUFE since graduating from the university in 1986, during which time he completed a master’s degree and doctorate there.

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