An Alibaba Group employee who was sexually assaulted while on business travel has been given an 18-year prison sentence by a Chinese court.
The woman, whose last name is Zhou, was intoxicated with drink before being forced upon by Zhang Guo, a customer of the Chinese e-commerce platform, during a business dinner in July 2021.
According to state-run media outlet the Global Times, Jinan Huaiyin District People’s Court found him ‘guilty of coercive indecency, sexually abusing the woman against her will when she was drunk.’
He did it twice: the first time in a restaurant, the second time in the woman’s hotel room.
The woman allegedly made her accusations public and was subsequently sacked by Alibaba.
Approximately eight months of Guo’s sentence remain to be served after being in custody for close to a year.
The judgement is notable in light of the fact that few sexual assault cases in China end up in court, and the conviction rate is appalling.
Even though the victim received a lot of sympathy, she also received a lot of criticism for becoming intoxicated on social media. Additionally, the nation’s practise of workplace drinking as well as Alibaba’s handling of the situation were criticised.
By posting an 11-page document detailing the occurrence, the woman first made her trauma public. She stated that her manager raped her in a hotel room while she was unconscious after a ‘drunken night’ last summer.
On the Chinese social networking site Weibo, the incident incited outrage, and many users called for action against the Alibaba Group.
Alibaba was compelled to fire her coworker as a result of public outcry, and the two executives who did nothing about the claim also resigned.
Alibaba was stated to be ‘staunchly opposed to coerced drinking culture’ in a memo.