© Reuters. The signage is seen at the Alibaba Group headquarters during the company’s 11.11 Singles’ World Day shopping festival in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, on November 11, 2020. REUTERS / Aly Song
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE 🙂 Group Holding Ltd said Sunday it has suspended several officials following allegations by an employee on the company’s intranet that she was sexually assaulted by her boss and a client.
The woman’s account, posted via an eleven-page PDF that was circulating widely online, sparked a social media storm on Chinese microblogging website Weibo (NASDAQ :). Jinan city police said Sunday morning that they were investigating the incident.
“The Alibaba Group has a zero tolerance policy against sexual misconduct and ensuring the job security of all our employees is Alibaba’s top priority,” a spokesman said in a statement.
“We have suspended relevant parties suspected of breaching our policies and values and have set up a special internal working group to investigate the matter and support the ongoing police investigation.”
Late Saturday, an Alibaba woman member’s account of an incident she said occurred during a business trip went viral on Chinese social media, and responses to her account were among Weibo’s most featured articles starting Sunday morning.
The woman, who did not reveal her identity, alleged that her boss forced her to take a business trip with him to meet one of her team’s customers in Jinan City, about 900 kilometers (560) away. miles) from Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou.
According to the woman, on the night of July 27, the client kissed her. After consuming alcohol, he woke up in a hotel room the next day with his clothes removed and not remembering what had happened the night before.
Closed-circuit television images he obtained from the hotel showed that his boss entered the room four times during the night, he added.
When he returned to Hangzhou, he said he reported the incident to human resources and senior management on August 2, demanding that his boss be fired and given him free time. Although human resources initially matched, they ultimately did not follow through, he said.
Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang responded to the commotion on Saturday afternoon on the company’s internal message board, according to a person who saw the message, although the company did not officially disclose the published material. on your intranet.
“Not only should human resources apologize. Related business department officials also have the responsibility and should apologize for their silence and lack of timely response,” Zhang wrote.
“Starting from me, starting from management, starting from human resources, everyone at Alibaba has to empathize, reflect and act.”
Alibaba announced on its intranet that the woman’s supervisor, her contact with human resources and the direct management of these individuals had been suspended, according to the person who saw the sites.
Last month, another sex scandal shook China when Chinese-Canadian pop singer Kris Wu was publicly accused by an 18-year-old Chinese student of inducing her and other girls, some of them minors. 18 years, to have sex with him.
The incident rekindled discussions about the #MeToo movement in China and Beijing police later arrested Wu, who has denied the allegations.
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