Chinese E-Commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has dismissed 10 of its workers for publicizing an employee’s account of sexual assault allegations against a former manager
The move came as the company has been battling to resolve a monumental sex scandal case that rocked China’s tech establishment.
Alibaba had announced internally last week it fired the group for sharing a harrowing account posted on an internal forum by a colleague surnamed Zhou.
Their offenses, according to the internal memo, included sharing screenshots of the woman’s post in the public domain after removing watermarks that bore their IDs, asking not to be identified discussing an internal matter.
Another three people have been reprimanded for making inappropriate comments in public forums.
Zhou’s account went viral earlier this month and turned China’s No. 2 company into the highest-profile symbol of abuses regarded as prevalent throughout Chinese businesses and tech firms, the by-product of an environment that often prioritizes achievement over culture.
Alibaba has dismissed the accused manager and accepted the resignations of two senior executives, acting after the case sparked debate about sexism in corporate circles.
Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Zhang has acknowledged his company’s handling of the complaint was a “humiliation.”
Zhou’s account of being forced to drink excessively and getting harassed during and after a dinner with clients has aroused widespread sympathy for her plight, including internally.
But Alibaba had little choice but to fire the 10 employees in question because they violated very strict policies against exposing content carried on employee forums.
The Alibaba incident this month shone a spotlight on criticisms that Chinese women are overlooked, objectified or forced to take part in male-dominated rituals like drinking with clients, then brushed aside when reporting abuse.
It coincides with intense government scrutiny on issues ranging from exploitative and monopolistic behavior to the abuse of low-wage workers.
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