Friday, February 23, 2024

More delayed IPOs due to Alibaba’s sexual assault issue

As a result of the Alibaba’s sexual assault issue, #MeToo in China has been re-ignited in recent weeks. It’s a watershed moment for the fight against China’s purportedly sexist tech industry. According to analysts in the field Amid this unprecedented public backlash against the strong internet behemoth, social media companies are unsure about how to proceed.

After Didi’s dispute with Chinese authorities over its hurried IPO, other Chinese internet businesses have postponed plans to go public overseas. It’s including Tencent’s music streaming behemoth and one of China’s highest-valued autonomous driving startups.

Justice must be delivered

One of Alibaba’s employees revealed in detail on the company’s internal forum that she had been sexually abused while on business trip by her boss and one of the company’s clients just after midnight last Sunday. She went public with her issue when her supervisors and human resources failed to assist her.

China’s social media networks soon picked up on the message. In addition to Alibaba’s incompetence, the Chinese “tech sector,” which has grown so large that it’s now just a part of modern corporate life, has criticised for objectifying women and its poisonous business drinking.
Alibaba dismissed the accused offender a day later, on August 9. “Disciplinary warnings” have issued to the firm’s head of human resources and two supervisors quit. Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang called the episode “horrifying, infuriating, humiliating” in an interview. And he urged the business to collaborate with the police to investigate.

This is by far the most high-profile #MeToo case involving a big Chinese tech firm. And it appears to have prompted the company to take the most drastic action in response to the allegations. To avoid Alibaba’s sexual assault issue, Alibaba is drafting corporate policies, which surprised many because it didn’t have them before.
Social media helped bring the matter to the attention of the Chinese public. Alibaba’s microblogging site Weibo, in which it holds a controlling interest, appeared to be abuzz with debate about the event within the first few hours.

The sexual assault issue is trending on the top on Weibo’s Trending Chart on Chinese Internet

The case took days to reach the top of Weibo’s trending chart, which is a barometer for the most talked-about topics on the Chinese internet, despite its seriousness. An adulterous affair involving Alibaba CEO Jiang Fan last year has censored on Weibo.
Social media columnist Talang Qingnian, or “Surfing Youth,” of the People’s Daily, slammed:

It was once again questioned if Alibaba had influenced the public debate because of the gradual building of the discussion.
As a result of Jiang Fan, China’s attitude towards the media has been extremely apparent.
In its role as China’s fundamental infrastructure for accurate news, Weibo should not be used as a tool to influence public opinion by any party.
As a result of the article’s harsh phrasing, it has quickly pulled down. There is a huge state-run media machinery in China. Yet just a few sources, such as Xinhua, regularly report the official viewpoints of top-level Chinese officials Not seldom, less reputable state-affiliated newspapers retract controversial findings. In an article published last week, a state-affiliated economic paper deleted a reference to “spiritual opium,” a term that had earlier caused Tencent and NetEase stock prices to plummet, and reprinted it with a more positive tone.

War chests that seem to be smaller

Chinese firms seeking international listings had long warned about regulatory uncertainty. But it was up to foreign investors to decide if they were worth investing in. It has become increasingly difficult for Chinese businesses to go public due to the recent government crackdown on its digital darlings.

Recent reports have indicated that Hong Kong-based streaming provider NetEase Music as well as New York-based self-driving vehicle company have postponed its intentions to go public.
Regulators had cautioned Chinese companies seeking overseas listings for years. But it was up to foreign investors whether they were worthwhile investments. Due to the current government crackdown on China’s digital darlings. It has become increasingly difficult for Chinese companies to go public.

Both NetEase Music and have reportedly postponed their plans to go public, according to sources.
As reported by the Financial Times, Beijing’s crackdown has damaged every major participant in China’s consumer tech industry. It’s knocking 87 billion dollars off the net worth of the country’s internet billionaires. It’s including Pony Ma of Tencent and Colin Huang of Pinduoduo. Therefore, the government has made it obvious to future entrepreneurs where they should focus their efforts. Start-ups of today’s youth are paying attention now.


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