Alibaba has been rocked by a sexual assault scandal, which has resulted in departures from the Chinese e-commerce giant.
On Monday, Alibaba announced that an employee had been fired after he was accused of sexually assaulting a coworker (BABA). According to a memo sent to employees by Alibaba Group chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang, the man admitted to actions that Alibaba deemed “in serious violation of company policy.”
According to Zhang’s memo, two senior employees resigned after they “failed to prioritize employee protection.”
“Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct, and ensuring a safe workplace for all our employees is Alibaba’s top priority,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to CNN Business.
The allegations, which were widely circulated on Chinese social media over the weekend, have rocked Alibaba at a time when it and other Chinese tech companies are already under intense regulatory scrutiny in China. The allegations sparked public outrage, with many criticizing the company’s handling of the situation.
A post allegedly written by the victim, who did not identify herself, and published on an internal Alibaba website went viral on the Chinese social media website Weibo, igniting the debate. The woman claimed she was assaulted by her supervisor during a business trip to Jinan, a city in eastern China, while she was drunk, according to screenshots of the 8,000-word account.
“The male leader even entered my hotel room four times that night with condom and assaulted me!!!! When I typed the lines above, I couldn’t control myself, and I broke into tears. I never thought that I would have such an experience,” she wrote. “When I think about it now, it just feels like a nightmare, one that makes you terrified, scared, helpless, helpless nightmare!”
On Chinese social media, the post has gone viral. On Weibo, topics about the incident have been viewed 850 million times, resulting in over 510,000 discussion posts.
Alibaba has been accused by some commenters of failing to protect its employees’ rights. When she reported her concerns to the company, the woman allegedly claimed that they were dismissed.