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Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, fires manager over sexual assault allegations

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A senior level manager with Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has been fired for an alleged sexual assault of a female employee, CEO Daniel Zhang announced on Monday.

Zhang added that to prevent future occurrences, the company will establish policies to prevent sexual harassment and punish offenders severely.

The manager who was in charge of Alibaba’s City Retail unit which offers grocery delivery from local supermarkets, had reportedly committed the assaults on the female staff when she was drunk while on business trip, a police report 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,” a company spokesperson said.

Zhang added that the City Retail unit’s president and human resources head had resigned over the incident, and that Alibaba’s chief people officer has “received a demerit”.

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“Alibaba will conduct company-wide training for the prevention of sexual harassment and launch a channel for staff to report incidents. It will also issue a formal, zero-tolerance anti-sexual harassment policy,” Zhang said in the memo.

The memo detailed the victim’s account of the incident, in which she recalled superiors ordering her to drink alcohol with coworkers during dinner on a business trip.

“Regardless of gender, whether it is a request made by a customer or supervisor, our employees are empowered to reject it.

“This incident is a humiliation for all Alibaba employees. We must rebuild, and we must change,” he said.

The sacking of the manager was necessitated following an 11-page account posted by the female staff on Alibaba’s intranet in which she said her supervisor and a client sexually assaulted her while on a business trip, and that managers had failed to take action.

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