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Alibaba fires manager accused of sexual assault; CEO calls for change after ‘coarse’ incident

Alibaba fires manager accused of sexual assault; CEO calls for change after ‘coarse’ incident

The entrance of Alibaba’s Wangjing office in Beijing on Dec. 24, 2020.

Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Photographs

Early Newspaper

GUANGZHOU, China — Alibaba has fired a manager accused of sexual assault and disciplined other workers because the Chinese e-commerce extensive appears to be like to limit reputational anguish.

Over the weekend, a female employee wrote a put up on Alibaba’s intranet accusing her supervisor Wang Chengwen and an organization client of sexual assault. The allegations went viral when the put up used to be later shared on Weibo, China’s Twitter-enjoy social media platform.

The girl alleges that Wang forced her to drink excessively within the route of a alternate dinner in Jinan one night in gradual July. She mentioned she wakened the next morning bare in her bed in her lodge room. The employee mentioned she vaguely remembers Wang kissing and touching her the night before in her room.

The manager admitted to “intimate acts” with an inebriated female employee, in accordance to a letter despatched to workers by Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang. The memo added the fired manager will “never be rehired.”

“Whether or not he has dedicated rape or indecency that violates the legislation will be definite by legislation enforcement,” the memo mentioned.

Whereas police in Jinan are peaceable investigating the incident, Alibaba mentioned it determined to penalize the manager and other staffers after it “obtained clarity on some extreme details on the facing of the incident.”

The female employee mentioned she reported the incident to Alibaba and asked for Wang to be fired, nonetheless seen no quick action taken.

Alibaba mentioned two workers enjoy resigned: Li Yonghe, the highest of a alternate unit that entails Alibaba’s meals offer alternate, alongside the division’s human sources chief Xu Kun.

“When the worker reported a horrendous act reminiscent of rape, they did not make timely decisions nor took acceptable action,” Zhang mentioned within the memo.

Alibaba Chief Folk Officer Judy Tong will be given a demerit. Zhang criticized HR, asserting they “did not pay enough attention and care to our of us.”

“On the same time, an emergency response machine used to be absent, and a extreme misjudgment used to be made. Within the occasion of a prison investigation, they did not hunch the relevant occasions. This means a wretchedness in our culture and capacity constructing. Given this systemic downside, the leadership could per chance additionally peaceable be held accountable,” he mentioned.

A spokesperson for the corporate mentioned in a press liberate “Alibaba Community has a zero-tolerance protection in opposition to sexual misconduct, and making sure a right place of job for all our workers is Alibaba’s top priority.”

Zhang known as the incident “coarse” and mentioned the corporate must “rebuild” and “change.”

The CEO mentioned Alibaba will now habits company-huge training on the protection of employee rights, at the side of anti-sexual harassment. The corporate will additionally “expedite the formation of an anti-sexual harassment protection.”

Whereas police are peaceable investigating the incident, Zhang mentioned the corporate is “staunchly antagonistic to the gruesome forced ingesting culture.”

“Regardless of gender, whether it’s a query made by a customer or a supervisor, our workers are empowered to reject it,” he wrote within the memo.

Alibaba shares in Hong Kong were down 2.5% in afternoon alternate because the information piled more stress onto an organization which is peaceable beneath regulatory scrutiny after a $2.8 billion antitrust pretty earlier this yr.

China’s MeToo dart has not taken off enjoy it has within the U.S. and other parts of the sphere. But it absolutely has begun to purchase steam more not too prolonged ago after Chinese-Canadian pop well-known person Kris Wu used to be accused of rape and detained by police in Beijing. He has denied the allegations.

Alibaba fires manager accused of sexual assault; CEO calls for change after ‘coarse’ incident