Bulletins

Alibaba fires female employee who accused her manager of rape

The tech giant accused her of spreading of “false information” and being a “bad influence."

Two men pictured in an Alibaba company parking lot
Alibaba needs to tread carefully, as its handling of the rape allegations is under close scrutiny from angry employees as well as the public.
Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This story contains mention of sexual assault.

The Alibaba employee who accused her manager of raping her on a business trip in August told the Chinese newspaper Dahe Daily last Friday that she had been fired by the Chinese ecommerce giant in November.


In the dismissal notice that the woman, surnamed Zhou, received on Nov. 25 and shared with Dahe Daily, Alibaba said her spreading of “false information” about being raped by a supervisor and her claim the company did not promptly handle her case brought “bad influence” to the company. Alibaba said Zhou’s behavior had violated company rules.

Zhou’s rape allegation against her then-boss, Wang Chengwen, made international headlines back in the summer and sparked a major backlash against Alibaba. In a detailed account of her experience first posted on Alibaba’s internal BBS, the accuser wrote that she had attempted to communicate with company management and HR about her grievance and requests, to no avail.

After these allegations spread to the wider internet and caused a public uproar, Alibaba chairman Daniel Zhang came out to promise workers that the company would establish an anti-sexual harassment policy with "zero tolerance for sexual misconduct." Within days, Alibaba announced progress in instituting measures to prevent workplace sexual misconduct, including drafting an internal Sexual Harassment Prevention Code of Conduct.

If you or a loved one needs help:

Call RAINN's sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673, 24 hours a day.

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