Alibaba Fires Manager Over Sexual-assault Claims

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Limited (BABA) has fired a manager accused of sexual assault on Monday. The company has pledged to improve its anti-sexual harassment policy after being under fire as the victim claimed that the company didn't pay heed to the complaint in the beginning.

The CEO of the company, Daniel Zhang, published a memo on the intranet page of the company that the male employee "has been fired and will never be rehired."

One of the female employees of the company accused that she was sexually exploited by her supervisor and a client during a business trip in July. In an eleven-page account, published on the company's intranet page, she also claimed that the managers have played down her complaint.

The female employee also said she was snubbed when she presented her account in the cafeteria and then posted it on Weibo, the Chinese counterpart of Twitter. Her post had more than 800 million views on the platform and almost 6 thousand employees stood by her side claiming a systematic change.

"Behind everyone's deep concern about the incident was not just sympathy and care for the traumatized colleague but also tremendous sadness for the challenges in Alibaba's culture," wrote the CEO.

Responding to Reuters, a spokesperson of the company said, "Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct, and ensuring a safe workplace for all our employees is Alibaba's top priority."

Apart from the individual in question, two supervisors, who allegedly tried to water down the importance of the event have resigned, said the memo. The chief human resource officer Judy Tong and thirteen other executives of the company were also demerited by the company following the act.

Zhang also added in the memo that the company will rectify its work culture and open a forum for the employees to vent their mal-experiences.

He added, "This incident is a humiliation for all Alibaba employees. We must rebuild, and we must change."

Talking about the "ugly culture of forced drinking", the CEO said, "Regardless of gender, whether it is a request made by a customer or supervisor, our employees are empowered to reject it."

Alibaba is also dealing with an antitrust probe by the government for harboring a monopolistic attitude. It is believed that the government actions taken against the fintech companies and k-12 education service companies have also stemmed from the same antitrust investigation.

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