Alibaba fires employee who accused head of rape – NEWS WORLD UPDATE

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba has fired a woman who accused her boss and a client of sexually assaulting her.

The letter of dismissal said she had spread untruths that had damaged the company’s reputation.

The employee published her allegations in August because she said Alibaba had not acted. She says she was sexually assaulted on a business trip.

Her boss was then fired, but a criminal case against him was dropped.

The client is still believed to be under police investigation.

The well-publicized case has highlighted the harassment that women face in the workplace in China.

The employee told the government-backed newspaper Dahe Daily that she was fired at the end of last month. It published a copy of what she said was her letter of resignation.

The letter stated that she had spread false information about the assault and that the company did not handle the case.

It added that this “created strong social concern and had a bad impact on the business”.

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

The woman’s lawyer confirmed her dismissal to the New York Times.

Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, has not yet commented on her dismissal.

What are the allegations?
The woman’s account of the incident was published in an eleven-page document in which she said the manager raped her in a hotel room while she was unconscious after a “drunk night”.

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

The woman claimed that the leader forced her to travel to the city of Jinan, which is about 900 km (560 miles) from Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, for a meeting with a client.

She accused her superiors of ordering her to drink alcohol with her colleagues during dinner.

She told that the client on the evening of July 27 kissed her. She then remembers waking up in her hotel room the next day with no clothes on and no memory from the night before.

The woman said she was given surveillance camera footage showing the manager had entered her room four times during the evening.

After returning to Hangzhou, the woman said the incident was reported to Alibaba’s Personnel Department (HR) and senior management and that she had requested that the manager be fired.

She said that human resources initially accepted the request, but that they did not take any further action.

What has been the answer?
Alibaba faced violent public backlash and later fired the colleague, identified only as Mr Wang. The company said two directors who failed to act on the allegation also withdrew.

A memo was issued saying Alibaba was “strongly opposed to forced drinking culture”.

Alibaba had previously said that the man accused of rape had admitted that “there were intimate acts” while the woman was “drunk”.

Although Mr Wang’s case will not proceed, prosecutors have approved the arrest of the client who allegedly assaulted the victim. He has been identified by his last name Zhang.

Zhang has also reportedly been fired by his company.

The case has shared opinions online. Some social media users wrote that the colleague got away too easily, while others say there was not enough evidence against him.

This latest development is likely to trigger similar debates in China, which is struggling with its #MeToo movement.

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