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Major Chinese companies are pledging to do more to combat sexual harassment internally and are encouraging employees to report inappropriate behaviors.

This comes after it emerged that an Alibaba employee was allegedly raped by her colleague and a client.

Internal investigations found the accused, a manager, had confessed to “intimate acts” with the woman while she was inebriated, violating company policy. He had assaulted the woman together with a client.

According to The Wall Street Journal, companies such as, Sina (owner of Weibo) and IQiyi have adopted or are in the process of adopting stricter rules and training against sexual harassment.

Why is this important?

  • IQiyi announced nine changes in its employee handbook that “firmly oppose” any harmful “unspoken rules”.

  • It specifically forbids any form of harassment and encourages employees to come forward and report inappropriate or harmful behavior. Penalties for breaking each of the rules are listed in a separate internal document.

  • announced its code of conduct against sexual harassment featuring a mascot, a cartoon dolphin, encouraging employees to oppose sexual harassment regardless of whether it takes the form of speech, electronic message, text, photo or physical contact.

  • Other companies including Pinduoduo Inc, Xiaomi Corp and Tencent Music Entertainment Group have reminded employees about avoiding and preventing sexual harassment.

  • Employees have been asked to handle business relationships with clients, partners and suppliers carefully, and report any wrongdoings internally to management. They are also asked to keep in mind what happened at Alibaba.

  • Elsewhere in the world, an anonymous group of advertising executives previously issued a declaration that seeks to hold men in the industry accountable for sexual abuse and harassment.

  • The polemic has been shared across social media with the caption ‘enough is enough’, and warns abusers working within the industry that their names are known and that if their behavior continues claims will “escalate to the police”.