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Alibaba Falls As State Media Pans Firm For Handling of Sexual Assault Case

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com — Alibaba ADR (NYSE:BABA) traded weaker by 1% in Monday’s premarket as China’s state media blasted the company for its handling of a sexual assault case involving a manager and an employee.

On Saturday, a female employee posted an 11-page account on Alibaba's intranet saying her manager and a client sexually assaulted her, according to Reuters. She also alleged that her superiors and human resources had not taken the matter seriously in the five days since she reported it.

The manager, at grocery delivery unit City Retail, said he was involved in "intimate acts" when the employee was inebriated and "has been fired and will never be rehired," Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said in an intranet memo, according to Reuters.

"Alibaba could not offer an answer that satisfies public opinion for this ham-handed inaction," said an editorial in Global Times published by the state-run People's Daily.

In April last year, users of Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) complained that critical reports about an affair involving Alibaba had disappeared from the Twitter-like microblogging site. Weibo is backed by Alibaba.

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