An ex-Alibaba manager who was accused by a female colleague of sexually assaulting her has had the charges against him dropped.
The employee, who’s surname is Wang, was arrested last month after a female employee claimed she was plied with alcohol and sexually abused by both a client and Wang during a business trip in Jinan, a city in the north of the country.
The woman claimed she was assaulted during a dinner with the client with the client before claiming that Wang entered her hotel room and sexually assaulted her while she was inebriated.
Chinese prosecutors did not believe Wang’s arrest to be necessary and he received a 15-day detention instead, Jinan police said in a statement on social media site Weibo.
The lack of punishment caused outrage online, with hundreds criticising the lack of protection for women in sexual abuse cases.
Many said that the fact that Wang received a 15-day detention implies that he was not completely innocent.
Wang’s wife publicly thanked her husband’s defence team in a post on Weibo early Tuesday morning, meanwhile accusing the female employee of false claims.
The accusations led Wang to be fired by the Chinese tech giant after the accuser posted an 8,000-word essay on the company’s intranet portal, claiming the HR department ignored her.
The company also asked two senior executives to resign over their handling of the case and separately fired 10 other whistleblowers who shared the claims on the company’s intranet.
Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang responded by promising he would establish an anti-sexual harassment policy with “zero tolerance” for sexual misconduct.
“Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct, and ensuring a safe workplace for all our employees is Alibaba’s top priority,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Convictions of sexual assault in China are low, despite the #MeToo movement gaining traction in the country as of late.
Accusations have been made against several academics, a TV presenter and a number of celebrities, however many have not come to fruition.
The most recent case was involving celebrity Kris Wu, a Chinese record producer who was arrested in Beijing after being suspected of rape after a Chinese influencer accused him of plying girls with alcohol before sexually assaulting them.