This story contains mention of sexual assault.
After rape allegations of a female employee against her manager have provoked intense internal and public outrage, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba told workers on Thursday it had made strides on promised measures to prevent and address workplace sexual misconduct.
In a letter addressed to employees, Alibaba said the company will form a Committee on Workplace Environment to handle "matters related but not limited to sexual harassment prevention." The committee will be chaired by the company's Deputy Chief People Officer Jane Jiang. Its initial members are five senior female executives. The committee will report directly to Alibaba's board and invite employees to join in the future.
On Aug. 7, a female employee accused her manager of raping her during an alcohol-drenched business trip that occurred in late July. Alibaba, which currently lacks an anti-sexual harassment policy, is now writing up an internal Sexual Harassment Prevention Code of Conduct. In response to excessive drinking often forced on women at business dinners, Alibaba said it has built another team, called ALI-WE, to "examine and eradicate inappropriate workplace behavior reported by employees," such as "forced drinking culture and tasteless comments that make the workplace uncomfortable." Alibaba also assured workers they will have the company's "unconditional support" to say no to forced drinking.
Going forward, Alibaba has also promised to include workplace culture and gender quality status in is annual ESG report and institute sexual harassment prevention and self-defense employee training.
If you or a loved one needs help:
Call RAINN's sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673, 24 hours a day.