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September 4, 2010

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'Outstanding' salesman caused loss of millions

A SALESMAN who allegedly sold computers at prices much lower than the minimum prices fixed by the computer company in a bid to achieve an outstanding work performance has been prosecuted over damaging production and business operations, Jing'an District prosecutors said yesterday.

Zhou Feng caused a loss of 6.1 million yuan (US$897,000) to the privately owned computer sales company, prosecutors alleged.

He faces a minimum sentence of three years in jail if found guilty, prosecutors said.

Zhou was hired by the company, which sells laptops and computer parts, at the end of 2006 as a salesman. He was eager to stand out from the colleagues and believed he had to "make outstanding sales achievements."

The only shortcut was to sell computers at a low price, Zhou decided.

Salesmen enter the retail price in the company's retail orders and later settle with the company's financial staff based on the prices noted.

He thought he would note down prices higher than the company's minimum and sell the computers at much lower prices. He could use the sales income he collected later to cover the difference, prosecutors said.

Zhou, having achieved a good sales performance in this way, was soon promoted head of a sales outlet and later manager of a branded product of the company.

To gain promotion, he even used his own money to cover the deficit, prosecutors said.

But with the increase in sales and growing deficits, Zhou was eventually unable to make up the difference.

The company's financial staff discovered in May 2009 that the company failed to get back payment for 1,940 laptops. All the laptops had been sold by Zhou.

Zhou admitted that he had caused a loss of 6.1 million yuan by selling laptops at 700 yuan to 1,000 yuan lower than he had recorded.


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