Boss Spends Millions Taking 6.4K Workers on Vacation

Group also reportedly broke odd world record while cavorting with shady CEO
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2015 12:48 PM CDT
Boss Takes 6.4K Workers on Whirlwind French Vacay
Li Jinyuan, CEO of China's Tiens Group, poses during a parade in Nice, France, as part of the four-day celebration weekend for the 20th anniversary of his company, Friday, May 8, 2015.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Imagine your boss said he'd treat you—and several thousand of your colleagues—to an all-expenses-paid vacation in France, complete with a private trip to the Louvre and luxury shopping—and that you'd also break a world record. That's exactly what happened for 6,400 or so employees of China's Tiens Group when CEO Li Jinyuan took on holiday the largest tour group France has ever seen, AFP reports. The trip to Paris and Nice this month was organized to celebrate the company's 20th anniversary and is said to have run Li between $14.5 million and $22.3 million, per the AP. After a couple of days in the City of Light, the Tiens tourists headed down to the Côte d'Azur, where they pulled off another incredible feat: forming a human chain visible from the sky that spelled out "Tiens' dream is Nice in the Côte d'Azur," reportedly deemed to be a Guinness World Record by officials, the Hindustan Times notes.

Chinese visitors keep the tourism mill running worldwide: They made more than 107 million trips outside of China last year, a 20% spike from 2013, the Los Angeles Times notes. As for this over-the-top junket, though, Li, who's appeared on the Forbes' billionaires' list, has been accused of running an Amway-like business that hawks questionable items such as "anti-cancerization" sanitary napkins and other products said to do everything from reverse impotence to make hernias, tumors, and appendicitis "disappear." The New York Times' Sinosphere blog points out some are calling Li's stunt "military tourism" designed as just another moneymaking "sales ploy," while other prominent Chinese citizens told the LA Times Li's trip was "an embarrassment" and a way for him to "live out his dream of being an emperor overseas." (Read more China stories.)

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