Rocked by sexual assault allegation, Alibaba launches investigation, suspends several staff By Reuters

© Reuters. The signage is seen at Alibaba Group headquarters throughout the firm’s 11.11 Singles’ Day world procuring pageant in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, November 11, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Tune

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese language e-commerce big Alibaba (NYSE:) Group Holding Ltd stated on Sunday it has suspended a number of workers following an worker’s allegations on the corporate’s intranet that she was sexually assaulted by her boss and a shopper.

The girl’s account, revealed 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 (NASDAQ:). Police within the metropolis of Jinan stated on Sunday morning that they had been investigating the incident.

“Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance coverage in opposition to sexual misconduct, and making certain a secure office for all our staff is Alibaba’s high precedence,” a spokesperson stated in an announcement.

“Now we have suspended related events suspected of violating our insurance policies and values, and have established a particular inside process drive to analyze the problem and help the continuing police investigation.”

Late on Saturday, a feminine Alibaba staffer’s account of an incident she stated happened 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 girl, who didn’t reveal her identification, alleged that her boss coerced her into happening a enterprise journey with him to satisfy one in every of her group’s purchasers within the metropolis of Jinan, about 900 kilometres (560 miles) from Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou.

In keeping with the girl, on the night of July 27, the shopper kissed her. After consuming alcohol, she awakened in a resort 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 resort confirmed that her boss entered the room 4 instances over the course of the night, she added.

Upon returning to Hangzhou, she stated she reported the incident to human sources and higher administration on Aug. 2, asking her boss be fired and for day off. Whereas human sources initially agreed, in the end they didn’t comply with by, she stated.

Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang responded to the uproar late on Saturday on the corporate’s inside message board, in keeping with an individual who noticed the put up, 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 duty 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, replicate, 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, in keeping with 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 below 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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