The latest accusations come at a tense time for Alibaba, which has come under scrutiny by the Chinese government. In April, the company, founded by Jack Ma, was fined a record $2.8 billion over antitrust violations. Mr. Ma’s internet finance company, Ant Group, was forced by Chinese regulators to halt its $34 billion stock debut in Shanghai and Hong Kong last year.
On Weibo, many women seized on the Alibaba employee’s description of her treatment by superiors, including their dismissal of her accusations and other behavior. In the essay, the employee said that her boss, on the work trip in Jinan, told their clients: “Look how good I am to you, I brought you a beauty.”
Other people online criticized China’s drinking culture, in which business is often conducted over alcohol-fueled meals. Several people raised concerns about whether Alibaba could shut down the discussion, given the company’s size and influence.
Alibaba’s own employees are pushing back. More than 4,000 of them formed a #MeToo group on the company intranet condemning the woman’s boss.
After filing a police report, the Alibaba employee said she viewed video footage outside her hotel room, which showed her boss entering her room four times. She accused him in the essay of duplicating her key to gain entry. She said she woke up nude on the morning of July 28 and found a box of condoms in her room.
In her essay, the employee said she had reported the incident to her superiors, who asked for video evidence. She said she was told that the company had decided not to fire her boss “because they were considering my reputation.” She said she was removed from a company chat group after posting her accusations.
In a post on Alibaba’s intranet, Mr. Zhang said he was “shocked, angry and ashamed” about the incident. He said the supervisors in charge of this matter owed the employee an apology for “not handling it quickly,” according to a screenshot of the post viewed by The New York Times.