China's anti-graft watchdog calls for curbs on business drinking after Alibaba sexual assault case

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) – China should reduce business drinking and replace it with “correct values”, the Communist Party of China’s anti-corruption watchdog said in a commentary on a sexual assault case involving employees with Alibaba Group.

Some “under the table rules” such as forced drinking for business purposes may lead to crimes, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in an article posted in the opinion section of its website under the name Shi Zhe.

It said those who violated laws in the Alibaba case will be punished strictly.

Alibaba this week fired a manager accused of rape, moving to contain the fallout after an employee’s account of her ordeal went viral on social media and ignited fierce debate about rampant sexism across China’s tech industry.

The sexual assault allegations, first reported by the employee on Aug 2, have unearthed systemic challenges with the company’s mechanisms, Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang said in an internal memo, seen by Bloomberg News.

The incident involved an external client and several executives during a night of heavy drinking in the country’s north-east.

It highlighted pervasive mistreatment of female workers across companies in China, where the #MeToo movement has thus far failed to take off as widely as in Silicon Valley or elsewhere.

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