Fired, will never be rehired: Alibaba on manager accused of sexual assault

On Monday, one of the top trending items with more than 800 million views on the Twitter-like Weibo service — which is backed by Alibaba — was an online declaration about 6,000 employees banding together to protest and overhaul “systemic inadequacies and a lack of protection for female employees”
Alibaba Group Holding has fired a manager accused of rape, moving to contain the fallout after an employee’s account of her ordeal went viral on social media and ignited fierce debate about rampant sexism across China’s tech industry.

 

The Chinese internet giant didn’t identify the manager. Li Yonghe, appointed just last month to lead a newly created division overseeing much of Alibaba’s non-retail businesses from food delivery to travel, has resigned alongside his human resources chief for mishandling the incident. The sexual assault allegations, first reported by the employee on Aug. 2, have unearthed systemic challenges with the company’s mechanisms, Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News.

The manager — at Alibaba's City Retail unit, which offers grocery delivery from local supermarkets - "has been fired and will never be rehired," Zhang said in a memo published on Alibaba's intranet that was seen by Reuters and later made public. Zhang, in a lengthy pre-dawn memo, described an outpouring of emotions on Alibaba’s intranet and vowed to step up protections for women across the company while addressing its failure to act.

 

On Monday, one of the top trending items with more than 800 million views on the Twitter-like Weibo service -- which is backed by Alibaba -- was an online declaration about 6,000 employees banding together to protest and overhaul “systemic inadequacies and a lack of protection for female employees.”

 

The People’s Daily, a mouthpiece for the Communist Party, held up the incident as an example of why companies must pay greater attention to culture the larger they grow. 


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