Friday, March 24, 2023

China Court Drops Case Against Alibaba Ex-worker Accused of Sexual Harassment

A Chinese court has closed the case against a former Alibaba employee who was charged with sexual assault. According to the Report Alibaba faces harassment after Chinese court drops the case against the Alibaba ex-worker accused of sexual harassment. The District Court in northeastern Shandong Province said the “cruel foul language” of the man identified as Wang was not a crime.

The employee was arrested last month after an Alibaba employee said he was sexually assaulted while on a business trip.

His accusations were widely circulated on Chinese social media. Police in Jinan City, where the incident occurred, said the investigation had been completed, but Wang would be detained for 15 days “as punishment”. The Jinan City Procuratorate added that an arrest warrant for Mr. Wang has not yet been approved.

“The Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment and providing a safe workplace for all of our employees is Alibaba’s top priority,” an Alibaba spokesperson told the BBC in response to the news of the closure.

What were the Allegations?

The woman’s report on the incident was published in an eleven-page document in which she said the manager raped her in a hotel room when she passed out after a “drunk night”. This caused a storm on social media on the Chinese platform, similar to Twitter’s Weibo.

The woman claimed her manager forced her to travel to Jinan City, which is about 900km from Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, to meet a customer. He accused his boss of ordering him to drink alcohol at dinner with coworkers.

He said the client kissed him on the night of July 27. Then he remembered how he had woken up in his hotel room the next day with no clothes on and no memory of the night before. The woman said she received surveillance footage showing the manager entering her room four times that night.

After returning to Hangzhou, the woman said that the incident had been reported to the Human Resources (HR) department and senior management at Alibaba and asked the manager to be fired. He said the human resources department initially approved the application but took no further action.

Alibaba faces response from Public

Alibaba faced strong public backlash and subsequently fired Wang. The company said two executives who failed to meet the demands had also resigned. A notice was issued stating that Alibaba “strongly opposes the culture of forced drinking”.

On Tuesday, China’s Global Times reported that “a police investigation found that [the woman] drank about 350 milliliters of alcohol the night before, but did not force anyone to drink to excess.”

Recent developments continue to divide opinion on the Internet. Some social media users reported that he escaped too easily, while others said there was not enough evidence against him.

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