Former Alibaba staff member fired over alleged sexual assault of female employee barred from working at ByteDance
Header image: Alibaba Group’s logo seen at its office in Beijing, China, Jan 5th, 2021. Credit: Thomas Peter/Reuters.
ByteDance has confirmed that the former department manager at Alibaba who was recently fired for sexually assaulting one of his female staff during a business trip has been barred from applying for jobs at the company, according to the Chinese media outlet.
In a video posted by Lao Ban Lian Bo on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo, it shows a comment posted likely by someone who is involved in the company’s recruiting process that says the alleged predator surnamed Wang, also known as Quyi was one of their candidates who passed the first round of the interview not long before the incident.
“The interviewer and HR knew nothing about what would happen at the time,” it continues, “after looking into the situation, we have immediately updated our talent pool and terminated the screening process for him indefinitely.
“Should there be any breaking of the law or immoral behaviours, we will add him to our blacklists and ban him permanently.”
The video has so far drawn more than 760,000 views.
ByteDance confirmed what was said in the comment to Southern Metropolis Daily.
The China’s biggest online commerce firm is in hot water after one of its female employees accused her line manager of sexual assault during a business trip in Jinan between 27-28 July, to which the accuser claims she declined at first due to the extreme weather brought out by storm Yanhua in Hangzhou. But she agreed in the end out of “pressure” from the manager.
In an 8,000-word letter written by the accuser, she recounted the incident, including surveillance footage she viewed with Jinan police, which shows Quyi had entered her room in a hotel four times when she blanked out after being forced to drink with clients during the dinner. The footage shows the longest time Quyi stayed in her room was 20 minutes.
Quyi denied any unconsented behaviours during a police interview, claiming he was "lured" by the woman.
The alleged victim also accused a client of molesting her during the dinner and several other senior staff at Alibaba of trying to cover it up after she reported Quyi’s behaviours to them.
The woman published the letter via an internal staff platform and started distributing handouts demanding justice at the company’s cafeteria last Saturday after the senior manager and human resources department failed to take action instead of trying to silence her through “lies and threats” since she reported the incident on 2nd August.
On Sunday, Alibaba’s CEO Zhang Yong said he was “shocked, angry and ashamed” and promised to get to the bottom of it. The company announced the dismissal of the manager accused of rape on Monday and the resignation of two other staff members including a human resources manager involved in dealing with the allegations.
However, this move has been too late to save the company from criticism over its handling of the scandal. More than 6,000 Alibaba employees signed a petition calling for building up anti-sexual harassment mechanisms at the workplace and demanding the company's culture where drinking with clients has been a "tradition" for business negotiations to be changed.
In a phone interview with state media, the client accused of sexual misconduct claimed he was “scapegoated” despite admitting he had “kissed and hugged” the alleged victim.
The person in question surnamed Zhang has been dismissed by his employer Jinan Hualian Supermarket on 9 August.
The case is still under investigation.
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