A leadership training workshop catering to high-income professionals in Beijing is drawing attention after an investment specialist died after a session. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A Chinese investment specialist who oversaw investments for $4 billion venture capital firm DCM Ventures died during a group coaching session that may have used psychological triggers to motivate attendees, according to reports.
Wei Meng, who also went by her English name, Sara Wei, reportedly collapsed Saturday and died Monday after she attended a class managed by LEGACY Power Leap Workshop, Beijing-based Pandaily reported.
Chengquan Culture, a firm in Beijing, runs the workshops, according to Chinese state tabloid Global Times. The classes convened every day from Wednesday to Sunday, from morning to late at night, according to Pandaily.
The 32-year-old principal at DCM Ventures paid $11,000 for three sessions that employ unusual techniques to raise workplace performance. The classes target high-income professionals in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen and other cities in China, reports said.
Sources who attended classes in the past said they registered after hearing about the workshop from family or friends.
One former student who declined to be identified said "great mental pressure" is applied to attendees, and at the end of the workshop, there is "crying and hugging" among the students who refer to each other as "family members."
According to Pandaily, sources said coaches remind students of a past trauma.
"At this time, people around you begin to cry, and the sound of beating chairs becomes louder and louder.
"Another activity is that other members of the group keep scolding you loudly until you break down and cry," the report said.
A source who said they were friends with her said that Wei, a working mother, was chastised during the workshop for "not taking good care" of her children.
In 2007, Chengdu Economic Daily reported a leadership training workshop used "brainwashing" techniques so attendees could reach a "breakthrough" in their lives, according to the Global Times.
DCM Ventures, which maintains offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo, has invested in leading Chinese platforms, including Tantan, a dating app, and Kuaishou, a video platform. Wei managed those investments, according to her LinkedIn profile.