An employee of the Chinese technology giant Alibaba publicly accused his boss and customers of sexual assault on him, which caused intense concern this past weekend.
Alibaba Group stated on August 9 that it would dismiss the accused employees, and the relevant senior management personnel would also resign or impose internal sanctions.
The police in Jinan, where the incident occurred, said on the 8th that they were investigating and collecting evidence on the alleged violation of the employee.
Since this incident occurred after the party and the client’s wine bureau, it also triggered discussions and criticisms of China’s Internet on Alibaba’s internal response mechanism and China’s “accompanying wine culture”.
On August 7, an 11-page self-report of an Ali female employee was posted on the Internet and was widely disseminated on various social media platforms.
This PDF document states that on July 27, she was on a business trip in Jinan City, Shandong Province. On that day, her team leader invited both parties to dinner after a meeting with the client, and she “dare not refuse, cannot “Refusal” repeatedly persuaded him to drink, and soon became drunk and lost consciousness.
According to this narrative, an employee of a business had molested her during the meeting, and the boss “let it alone.” After the banquet was over, her boss also entered her room privately several times.
She said that she woke up naked in bed the next morning and had no complete memory of the night before. After she called the police and checked the hotel surveillance video, she discovered that her boss had entered her room four times that night, the longest of which lasted more than 20 minutes.
The woman stated that she had reported the incident to the company after returning to the company and requested the dismissal of her boss. The company initially agreed to deal with it, but after several negotiations it said that it could not fire the employee who was complained.
She said that she had publicly exposed the incident in the company to try to attract attention, but was driven away by security.
Ali’s official apology
After detonating public opinion on the Internet, many netizens expressed dissatisfaction with the initial results of Alibaba.
“Is this Ali’s corporate culture?” a netizen asked.
“The names of the executives in those rows are scary and terrifying. Why do so many people acquiesce in this incident?” another netizen commented.
“On July 27th, the victim reported to the company’s leadership on the 28th. It hasn’t been resolved until August Liqiu. You can only react if you can’t suppress it. You told me that it will not be tolerated?” A netizen said. Alibaba officials did not respond until the incident was disclosed on the Internet and spread widely on various social media platforms. This process of handling also caused doubts and dissatisfaction.
Alibaba responded publicly several times after August 7.
On August 7, Alibaba stated that it would fully cooperate with the police and that the suspected employee has been suspended and under investigation by the police.
Alibaba also announced the establishment of an internal investigation team. Zhang Yong, chairman and CEO of the board of directors, said in the early morning of August 8 that he was shocked, angry, and ashamed of this, and apologized for the indifference of the supervisors at all levels and their failure to deal with the incident in a timely manner.
In the early morning of August 9, Zhang Yong disclosed the phased investigation results and handling decision of the incident on the company’s internal network, stating that the employee “the relevant person in charge of the business group and the group HR system did not stand in the perspective of protecting employees.” Adequate attention and care were given to her encounters and demands, and she did not make timely decisions and actions.
Zhang Yong said that Ali will dismiss the employees accused in the incident and will never hire them. The business group president and personnel commissioner of this department resigned, and the chief human resources officer of the group was penalized.
At the same time, Alibaba’s investigation of other suspended supervisors and related personnel department employees during the incident handling process is still continuing, and will also “do its best to deal with and take care of” the female employees in the incident.
“Everyone’s high attention to the incident is not only the sympathy and care for the hurt students, but also the sadness to reflect the cultural problems behind Ali… It is a shame for all of us Ali people to happen. We must reshape, We must change,” Zhang Yong said at the end of this statement.
In the incident, Alibaba customer Francinan Hualian Supermarket stated that it would fully cooperate with the police, and the suspected employee has been suspended and is under police investigation.
Discussion group of 6000 people
Since the emergence of the “MeToo” movement in China, sexual assault incidents have received increasing attention in China.
Last month, after a woman accused Chinese Canadian singer Wu Yifan, who enjoys high popularity in China, of inducing multiple young women to engage in sexual acts, Chinese police put him under criminal detention on suspicion of rape. Wu Yifan previously denied the relevant allegations.
According to Chinese media reports, after the Alibaba incident, Alibaba employees spontaneously formed a discussion group internally, and more than 6,000 employees have joined. They proposed that they hope to take this incident to promote the establishment of an anti-sexual harassment and anti-sexual assault system for employees, especially female employees.
At the same time, the accompanying wine culture in the incident also caused great discussion on the Internet. Zhang Yong said that Ali firmly opposes the “ugly wine table culture” and employees can clearly refuse the request to accompany the wine.
Alibaba has already been punished this year because of the Chinese government’s supervision. In April this year, the State Administration for Market Regulation of China accused Alibaba of violating the “Anti-Monopoly Law” and fined it 18.228 billion yuan.
Alibaba’s shares fell 2.48% at the close of the Hong Kong stock market on the 9th.