Alibaba Fired Female Employee who Accused Boss of Sexual Harassment

Chinese well known e-commerce company Alibaba fired female employee who said a colleague and a client had sexually assaulted her.

The employee surnamed Zhou told the Dahe Daily Alibaba had terminated her for spreading false information in August about being raped by a senior manager. She didn’t get any severance and was compensated up to the date of termination on Nov. 25., according to a screenshot of an official memo and an interview with Zhou published by the central Chinese newspaper.

The woman’s account of the incident was published in an eleven-page document, in which she said the colleague raped her in a hotel room while she was unconscious after a “drunken night”.

It prompted a social media storm on China’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo.

The woman alleged that the colleague, who held a more senior managerial position in the company, coerced her into travelling to the city of Jinan, which is around 900km (560 miles) from Alibaba’s head office in Hangzhou, for a meeting with a client.

She accused her superiors of ordering her to drink alcohol with co-workers during dinner.

She said that on the evening of 27 July the client kissed her. She then recalls waking up in her hotel room the next day without her clothes on and with no memory of the night before.

The woman said she obtained surveillance camera footage that showed the co-worker had gone into her room four times during the evening.

After returning to Hangzhou, the woman said the incident was reported to Alibaba’s human resources (HR) department and senior management and that she had requested the co-worker be fired.

She said that human resources initially agreed to the request but took no further action.

 The letter said she had spread false information about the assault and about the company not handling the case, and this “caused strong social concern and had a bad impact on the company”.

The employee was quoted as saying: “I have not made any mistakes, and certainly will not accept this result, and in the future will use legal means to protect my rights and interests.”

Alibaba has not yet commented on her dismissal.

Alibaba in recent months has taken a hard line against information leaks associated with the case. It dismissed 10 staffers for leaking her accusations, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The company felt they violated very strict policies against exposing content carried on employee forums, the people said.

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