Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has announced that it is cooperating with a police investigation into allegations of sexual assault transmitted by a company employee.
A statement issued Sunday by the company said it had also suspended “relevant parties suspected of violating our policies and values,” stating that it had a “zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct.”
An unidentified female employee made the allegations against Alibaba in a lengthy internal post cited by Chinese media, which AFP cannot verify.
He accused his manager and a client of sexual assault during a business trip to Jinan city in Shandong province, according to media reports.
A hashtag for the indictment was one of the most viewed articles on Chinese social media platform Weibo on Sunday.
Sexual misconduct has drawn increasing attention in China, especially since the country’s own #MeToo movement was sparked by Chinese feminists in 2018.
In one of the biggest cases yet, Beijing police earlier this month said Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu had been detained on suspicion of rape.
Wu had been accused by a 19-year-old student of date rape when she was 17, sparking widespread condemnation of the singer on Chinese social media and prompting several luxury brands to strike deals with him.
Wu denied the allegations on his Weibo account.
Alibaba had already come under scrutiny from the government, which launched a broad campaign to curb the growing influence of the country’s tech giants.
In April, regulators hit Alibaba with a record $ 2.78 billion fine for practices seen as an abuse of its dominant position in the market.
State media on Sunday cited an internal memo published by Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang as saying he was “shocked, angry and embarrassed” by the misconduct case.
Jinan police said they were investigating an alleged rape case involving an Alibaba employee, according to a statement released on Weibo that did not provide further details.