EXPLAINER: Peng Shuai case shows barriers Chinese women face | Lifestyles

While the International Olympic Committee says it is satisfied she is fine, the Women’s Tennis Association says it still lacks assurances and has suspended all its events in China this year, and possibly beyond. IOC President Thomas Bach intends to have a private dinner with Peng during his time in Beijing, although when and how that will occur remain under wraps.


When a former employee of one of China’s best known companies, Alibaba, couldn’t get human resources or upper management to deal with her accusation of sexual assault, she took a more direct approach. Standing in the cafeteria at the e-commerce giant’s headquarters, she yelled out her claims that she had been assaulted by a coworker and a client during a business trip.

As a result, she has been harassed online, accused of lying by the wives of the two men she accused and slapped with a defamation lawsuit from a Alibaba vice president who was forced to resign. The final insult: The company fired her on grounds of spreading false information about her assault and about the company’s handling of the issue.

Using only her surname, Zhou, to avoid further harassment, the woman says she’s still holding out for justice from the courts. Although both men were detained, police dropped the case against her former colleague, although Alibaba later fired him and Zhou’s lawyer is pushing to have the case reopened. The client is in police custody and a criminal case is pending.

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