Rocked by sexual assault allegation, Alibaba launches investigation, suspends a number of employees

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

Costfoto | Barcroft Media | Getty Photos

Chinese language e-commerce big Alibaba Group Holding Ltd mentioned on Sunday it has suspended a number of employees following an worker’s allegations on the corporate’s intranet that she was sexually assaulted by her boss and a shopper.

The lady’s account, printed through an eleven-page PDF that went on to flow into broadly on-line, prompted a social media storm on China’s Twitter-like microblogging web site Weibo. Police within the metropolis of Jinan mentioned on Sunday morning that they have been investigating the incident.

“Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance coverage in opposition to sexual misconduct, and guaranteeing a protected office for all our workers is Alibaba’s high precedence,” a spokesperson mentioned in a press release.

“We’ve got suspended related events suspected of violating our insurance policies and values, and have established a particular inner activity power to research the difficulty and help the continued police investigation.”

Late on Saturday, a feminine Alibaba staffer’s account of an incident she mentioned befell whereas on a enterprise journey went viral on Chinese language social media, with responses to her account figuring among the many top-trending objects on Weibo as of Sunday morning.

The lady, who didn’t reveal her id, alleged that her boss coerced her into occurring a enterprise journey with him to satisfy considered one of her crew’s shoppers within the metropolis of Jinan, about 900 kilometers (560 miles) from Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou.

In line with the girl, on the night of July 27, the shopper kissed her. After consuming alcohol, she awakened in a lodge room the next day together with her garments eliminated and no reminiscence of what occurred the night earlier than.

CCTV footage she obtained from the lodge confirmed that her boss entered the room 4 occasions over the course of the night, she added.

Upon returning to Hangzhou, she mentioned she reported the incident to human sources and higher administration on Aug. 2, asking her boss be fired and for time without work. Whereas human sources initially agreed, in the end they didn’t observe by way of, she mentioned.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang responded to the uproar late on Saturday on the corporate’s inner message board, based on an individual who noticed the submit, although the corporate didn’t formally disclose the fabric posted on its intranet .

“It’s not simply Human Sources who ought to apologize. The associated enterprise division managers additionally maintain accountability and will apologize for his or her silence and failure to reply in a well timed method,” Zhang wrote.

“Ranging from me, ranging from administration, ranging from human sources, everybody at Alibaba should empathize, mirror, and take motion.”

Alibaba introduced on its intranet that the girl’s supervisor, her contact at human sources, and direct administration of these people had been positioned on suspension, based on the one who noticed the posts.

Final month one other intercourse scandal rocked China when Chinese language-Canadian pop singer Kris Wu was publicly accused by an 18-year-old Chinese language pupil of inducing her and different women, a few of them underneath the age of 18, to have intercourse with him.

The incident revived discussions of the #MeToo motion in China, and police in Beijing subsequently arrested Wu, who has denied the allegations.

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