Alibaba faces #MeToo storm over rape complaint

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SHANGHAI–Sexual assault report rocked Ali Baba Group, prompting CEO of Chinese tech giant Daniel Zhang to issue a company-wide statement on Monday morning apologizing for the company’s slow response and announcing that it had fired the company. employee accused of raping a colleague.

Zhang said he was “shocked, angry and ashamed” to learn of the case. In the same note, Zhang said two senior executives also resigned after failing to respond appropriately to the woman’s report.

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On Sunday, a woman, whose name was not public, posted an essay on Ali Baba, claiming that her boss raped her while she was unconscious and that she was also assaulted by a client on July 27 while on a work trip to Jinan, Shandong Province. The account was quickly shared on social media and started trending on Weibo.

According to his account, the main alleged perpetrator was his manager named Wang Chengwen. Wang had insisted that she travel with him to Jinan to meet a client, despite the fact that Hangzhou this weekend had an incoming typhoon and the trip was not recommended.

At dinner, Wang told the customer, “Look how good I am to you, I brought you a beauty” and said that the woman could really drink, despite her protests that she did not have a high tolerance for alcohol. ‘alcohol. During dinner, Wang forced her to drink excessively, and as she got drunk, the client started to grope her chest and private parts. After falling ill and getting her clothes dirty, the client said he would help her clean herself in the bathroom, but instead took her to a private, closed room.

The woman said that at this point she was unable to stand and walk on her own and that another woman on the client team was also in this condition.

She woke up naked the next morning in a hotel room and found an open packet of condoms on the bedside table, she said, and remembered crying the night before when her manager Wang was on top of her but she was able to move. She added that when she checked the hotel’s CCTV footage, it showed Wang had entered her room four times that night.

The woman said she reported it to police immediately afterwards. She also attempted to report it to the company, speaking to Wang officials, but was silenced by Alibaba and early posts on a company newsgroup led to its removal.

Zhang’s company-wide memo said Alibaba would support the woman and the police as they complete their investigation. The CEO said he has formed an internal investigation team and will conduct company-wide training on employee rights, including sexual harassment. Alibaba is “fiercely opposed to the ugly culture of forced consumption.” Regardless of their gender, whether it is a request made by a client or a supervisor, our employees have the right to reject it, ”Zhang wrote.

“This incident is shameful for all Aliren [a term used by Alibaba to call its employees]. We have to rebuild and we have to change. Change is only possible if everyone acts individually, but it must start at the top. It starts with me. Please wait and watch, ”Zhang said.

The incident comes just days after Chinese-Canadian popstar Kris Wu was detained by Beijing authorities suspected of rape after several women accused him online of preying on young and underage women. In 2019, billionaire JD.com founder Richard Liu was arrested after a University of Minnesota student accused him of rape, but was later fired.


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