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Daily Digest | Rape allegation sends Alibaba into tailspin

Written by The Uptake Published on   1 min read

Alibaba’s reputation is tarnished—for now.

Hey there. It’s Brady again.

An Alibaba manager allegedly raped a woman who reported to him. He has been fired and blacklisted from ever working for the company again. ByteDance, where he managed to secure a job interview, has reportedly blackballed him too. Two Alibaba senior personnel who mishandled the woman’s complaint have resigned.

Something bad happened, and the company provided a resolution by meting out punishment, so it’s all over, right?

Not so fast.

Like many other tech companies in China and elsewhere, Alibaba has a history of built-in misogyny, including its sexually explicit “icebreaker” games during orientation for new hires, Jack Ma’s statements about his employees’ sex lives, and job ads that mention “beautiful girls” who work in Alibaba’s offices. The objectification of women is a recurring theme in the company’s operations.

What’s needed is systemic reform, not merely the termination of one low-level manager who got caught after a serious crime may have been committed. The problem here isn’t one person; it’s deep-seated corporate culture—within Alibaba and other companies—where reprehensible behavior manifests time and time again.

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