Sexual harassment lawsuits were rarely seen in China at the time, and Zhou's case was widely regarded a barometer for the country's progress on addressing entrenched gender inequality.
On Tuesday, that landmark legal battle ended in Zhou's defeat. A court in Beijing ruled against her after a long-delayed second hearing, citing "insufficient evidence." Zhu, 57, is a former member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a top political advisory body to the Chinese government. He is best known for having hosted CCTV's annual Lunar New Year gala -- the most-watched TV show in China with more 700 million viewers -- for two decades since 1997. Zhu has not directly commented on the case in public. He has denied all allegations through his lawyer and filed a separate lawsuit against Zhou for defamation, according to a statement from his lawyer in 2018.