Alibaba Working With Police After Worker Alleges Sexual Assault
(Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said it’s working with police on an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct reported by a female employee at the company.
“We have suspended relevant parties suspected of violating our policies and values, and we have established a special internal task force to investigate the issue and support the ongoing police investigation,” Alibaba said in an emailed statement. The company has a “zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct,” it said.
The unidentified female employee detailed the allegations in an 8,000-character internal post, accusing her manager and a client of sexual assault during a work trip to the city of Jinan in Shandong province, according to the Southern Metropolis Weekly.
Alibaba Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in an internal post on Sunday that he was “shocked, furious, and ashamed” after learning about the case, according to Beijing News. The human resources department and relevant managers need to apologize and reflect on their failure to deal with the allegations in a timely manner, the report cited Zhang as saying.
China’s MeToo movement first came to prominence three years ago when allegations against a professor at the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics were published on social media. Since then, a number of accusations have been made against academics, environmentalists and journalists, but there have been few convictions. In one recent high profile case, celebrity Kris Wu was detained on suspicion of rape. He has denied wrongdoing.
An office memo from Alibaba’s investigation team on Saturday said five employees were suspended from work, according to Beijing News. An accused male worker will cooperate with police while four of his managers will assist in an internal investigation, according to the report.
Police in Jinan city said they are investigating and gathering evidence on an alleged rape case involving a female Alibaba employee, according to a statement on Weibo.
Jinan Hualian Supermarket released a statement on its official Wechat account, saying the company will fully cooperate with police on a suspected assault case. The company said the suspect in the case has been suspended from work and is aiding the police.
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