Prosecutors in China’s Jinan city said on Monday night that their probe into the alleged sexual misconduct by a former Alibaba manager did not constitute a crime. Local police later said on Weibo that they will no longer pursue a criminal investigation.
The suspect, Wang Chengwen, was placed in administrative detention for 15 days. He was released on Tuesday. This marks the end of the criminal investigation, meaning Wang will not face any charges, said Xu Xin, a law professor at Beijing Institute of Technology.
Wang became the subject of a scandal after a female subordinate, surnamed Zhou, accused him of sexual assault in late July. He was fired by Alibaba, then detained by local police on the charge of “forced indecency” on August 25 as there was insufficient evidence for a rape charge.
The case triggered widespread discussions about the misogynistic corporate culture in China, particularly in major tech companies. The Jinan police force’s announcement of Wang’s release was a trending topic on Weibo, with many people questioning the decision.
Wang’s wife said on Weibo that Zhou’s report was “malicious slander,” and she is preparing to sue Zhou for defamation.
After sacking Wang, Alibaba set up a sexual harassment prevention program. The company said in a statement on Tuesday that they have a zero-tolerance policy against sexual misconduct, according to Bloomberg.