Chinese authorities have arrested nine people on suspicion of violently assaulting several women at a restaurant after surveillance footage of the attack sparked widespread outrage.

Warning: the following story contains descriptions and imagery of a graphic nature.

Footage from a barbecue restaurant in Tangshan, in the northern Hebei province, marked Friday 2:40am local time, shows a man approach a table where four women are seated and place his hand one of their backs.

She rebuffs him several times before he flies into a rage and slaps her, prompting her to fight back.

A brawl ensues, with a group of men entering the restaurant and brutally attacking the woman and her dining partners, including by shoving them to the ground, kicking them and even throwing a chair at them.

Video shot from outside the restaurant also shows the woman who initially rejected the man’s advances being dragged out of the establishment by the attackers and viciously beaten, with most passers-by and restaurant patrons looking on.


Violent attack sparks public outrage

Photographs of the woman lying on a stretcher with a swollen and bloodied face, as well as footage of the attack, went viral online.

The assault and the public outcry renewed a conversation about misogyny and the mistreatment of women in China.

Earlier this year, a viral video of a woman being chained to a wall in a hut drew public backlash after authorities initially denied she was a victim of human trafficking.

She was later found to have been sold as a bride.

All nine suspects in the restaurant attack were arrested on Saturday, according to a statement from authorities issued on microblogging platform Weibo.

Two women had sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were receiving treatment in a hospital, they said.

Their condition was reported to be stable. Two others were slightly injured.

Vision of attack ‘heartbreaking’ to watch

The video of what happened both inside and outside the restaurant lasted just under five minutes.

The Weibo user who was among the first to post the videos said in a post that it was “heartbreaking” to watch.


“Does that mean that dining out is so unsafe now, do we have to bring men with us everywhere we go?” the post said.

The user declined to reveal the source of the videos, stating it was “inconvenient” to do so.

By Sunday, the video of the footage inside the restaurant had garnered over 68 million views, while the footage showing the graphic assault outside the restaurant had been taken down.

Social media users have condemned the attack and criticised Tangshan police for being slow to arrest the suspects.

“I’m a woman, and I have a daughter,” said one Weibo user with the handle BaobaomaoDaren.

State broadcaster CCTV said in online commentary that the suspects must be arrested as quickly as possible and “punished severely in accordance with the law”.