Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd sacked on Monday a manager who allegedly sexually assaulted a female employee.
Chief Executive Daniel Zhang also promised to establish policies to prevent sexual harassment.
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.
The man told management there were “intimate acts” with the employee when she was inebriated, Zhang said in the memo, adding that the police are investigating the matter.
“Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct, and ensuring a safe workplace for all our employees is Alibaba’s top priority,” a company spokesperson told Reuters when asked about the memo.
Over the weekend, a female staffer posted an 11-page account on Alibaba’s intranet in which she said her supervisor and a client sexually assaulted her while on a business trip, and that managers had failed to take action.
Threads related to the incident subsequently ranked among the top-trending on Weibo, China’s Twitter-esque microblog, which has been alight with discussion of the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement following a celebrity sex scandal last week.
Zhang said the City Retail unit’s president and human resources head had resigned over the incident, and that Alibaba’s chief people officer has “received a demerit”.
Investigations into other individuals referred to in the victim’s account are ongoing, Zhang added in the memo.
Alibaba will conduct company-wide training for the prevention of sexual harassment and launch a channel for staff to report incidents, Zhang said in the memo.
It will also issue a formal, zero-tolerance anti-sexual harassment policy.