NIKITA BYRNES | NEWS
The Chinese multinational corporation specialising in e-commerce, e-retail, and technology, Alibaba, fired ten of its employees in late August 2021 for leaking details of sexual assault.
An employee made sexual assault allegations against a former high-profile manager, and ten of the employee’s colleagues decided to publish the account of the allegations. The staff members shared screenshots of the employee’s post in which she alleged the assault on an internal company forum, removing their identifications from the images. Apparently, the worker’s allegations included a story of rape that has been described as “horrific,” including descriptions about how she was forced to excessively drink, and being harassed during a dinner which involved the company’s clients.
This information went viral and Alibaba, considered China’s “No. 2 company” (after Chinese multinational technology conglomerate, Tencent) became a symbol of prevalent work-place harassment and abuse. Writers Coco Liu and Zheping Huang, have identified the abuse as a “by-product of an environment that often prioritises achievement over culture.”
Alibaba has reportedly dismissed the accused manager and accepted the resignations of two senior executives. The company fired the ten employees who leaked the allegations because it has strict policies against exposure of content in internal company forums, and the company noted that they have fired others for similar indiscretions in the past.
Daniel Zhang, the Chief Executive Officer at Alibaba, reportedly acknowledged that the way the company handled the complaint was a “humiliation.”