The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 17, 1989

What can happen if you don't use statistics -- an extreme case!

(BEIJING) - Eighteen factory managers were executed for poor product
quality at Chien Bien Refrigerator Factory on the outskirts of the 
Chinese capital.  The managers - 12 men and 6 women - were taken to
a rice paddy outside the factory and unceremoniously shot to death as 
500 plant workers looked on.

Minister of Economic Reform spokesman, Xi Ten Haun, said the action was required for committing unpardonable crimes against the people of China. He blamed the managers for ignoring quality and forcing shoddy work, saying the factory's output of refrigerators had a reputation for failure. For years, factory workers complained that many component parts did not meet specification and the end product did not function as required. Complaining workers quoted the plant manager as saying, "Ship it." Refrigerators are among the most sought-after consumer items in China. Customers, who waited up to five years for their appliances, were outraged.

"It is understandable our citizens would express shock and outrage when managers are careless in their attitudes toward the welfare of others," Haun says. "Our soldiers are justified in wishing to bring proper justice to these errant managers."

The executed included the plant manager, the quality control manager, the engineering managers, and their top staff.