No evidence to prove a female Alibaba worker was raped; two men suspected of sexual harassment are under criminal compulsory measures: police
Published: Aug 14, 2021 08:12 PM
File photo:Xinhua

File photo:Xinhua

Two suspects, including one from Alibaba Group, have been put under criminal compulsory measures on suspicion of sexual molestation against a female Alibaba employee, and no evidence has been found that the woman was raped, police said on Saturday, as the scandal at China's largest e-commerce company has been sparking widespread public outrage since last week.

The police investigation showed that the suspect, an Alibaba Group worker surnamed Wang, went into his female coworker's hotel room four times from July 27 to July 28, during which Wang sexually molested the female worker surnamed Zhou. The sexual molestation took place when both Wang and Zhou were on a business trip to Jinan, East China's Shandong Province, Jinan police announced on Saturday. 

The two had dinner with several local business partners on July 27 including with a worker from a local supermarket surnamed Zhang. 

Zhou called police on July 28 claiming that she may have been sexually assaulted by Wang while intoxicated, and then on August 4, she called police again for the other sexual assault claim involving Zhang.

The police investigation showed that Zhang first accompanied Zhou leaving the restaurant after Zhou drank too much on the night of July 27, then sexually molested Zhou on their way back to the restaurant dining room. 

Then the next morning, Zhang took a pack of unopened condoms to Zhou's hotel room, and then sexually molested her again before leaving. The unopened condoms were left in Zhou's room, police said. 

As for whether Zhou was forced to drink to excess, the police investigation showed that Zhou drank about 350 milliliters of alcohol, but no one forced her to drink. 

Regarding whether Zhou was forced to take the business trip, police said that Zhou was not forced to take the trip based on witnesses and the business system of Alibaba Group. 

So far, both Wang and Zhang have been held under criminal compulsory measures for suspicion of sexual molestation with no proof of rape, police said. The case was put under further investigation. 

Both Wang and Zhang were fired by their companies since the scandal was reported a week ago. 

Two senior executives from Alibaba who mishandled the case - including president of Alibaba intra city retail Li Yonghe and a senior human resource employee - have resigned, as Zhou complained that she reported the issue to Alibaba but "received no response."

Following the case which has seriously damaged the public image of the company, Alibaba Group said on Thursday that it is drafting a code of conduct to prevent sexual harassment within the company, and has set up a committee to examine misconduct in the workplace.

In a previous internal letter, Alibaba's chief executive officer Daniel Zhang vowed to change the company's culture and called the alleged assault a "humiliation for all Ali people," adding that "we must change."

Global Times