This photo is very controversial and it already has been uploaded to many social media services. The photography was taken by Weibo user who was on the meeting of Samsung staff with China mobile dealers. The Korean company has a lot of issues caused by the affair with Galaxy Note 7. Therefore, Samsung exclusives wanted to thank dealers for trust and ordering their products.
However, this gesture is very controversial, because it looks like Samsung China exclusives were forced by Korean colleagues to kneel down. The internet discussions about this photo are very emotional, because kneeling before someone is very symbolic in China. The Kowtow is very traditional act and it was performed in Imperial China before the Emperor. Currently, this traditional form is used in China only in case of some martial arts (students kneel before their master in order to show the respect) and performing of traditional arts.
The kneeling down was initiated by Korean part of Samsung staff.
However, the same ritual has completely different meaning in the Korean culture. The true is that Samsung’s Korean exclusives have expressed their grateful and respectful to phone dealers. However, they have forgotten that they were in China and this gesture may be received differently by local sellers. In my opinion, it is strange that exclusives of this big international corporation were not trained about culture differences between Korea and China. However, also Korean singers kneel before the public in China in order to thank fans for great concert.