The recent rape allegations against Alibaba, the Chinese tech company has created a firestorm on social media. It is alleged that Alibaba’s workers were pressured to drink at work events. China is becoming more aware of the problems that corporate behavior can cause. Will this mean that business drinking will be a thing of the past?

Mingxi has to go out with her coworkers after work about every two weeks. It is something that she hates.

It’s more than just drinking a couple of pints in the local pub.

Instead it is a lengthy affair that often involves forcing smiles to clients and formal toasting etiquette. It never feels like she’s at home.

The Guangzhou-based 26-year old public relations specialist told BBC that she worries about things getting out of control, despite being quite adept at keeping my drinks under control.

“Sometimes people make inappropriate sexual jokes and I must pretend that they are funny.”

Mingxi has chosen not to go by her true name, as she does not wish her identity to be known.

She is not the only young Chinese worker who felt pressured to attend such events in China, a country that values building. GuanxiPersonal relationships, or business connections, are key for securing business deals.

After China’s long-standing tradition of binge drinking in business, it is back in the limelight. A rape accusation was made against the senior management of Alibaba, a Chinese tech company.

The 11-page report of a female employee about the incident that went viral last month on Weibo, contains an account by 11 pages. It claims she was raped after having drunkenly traveled on a work trip.

She accused her supervisors of ordering her excessive alcohol consumption at a business dinner. Later, she claimed she woke up naked in her hotel suite, without any recollection about the events of that evening.

She said the manager entered her bedroom four times in the course of the night after she obtained security footage.

Alibaba terminated the management position and stated that he wouldn’t be rehired.

However, Chinese prosecutors are now able to provide evidence. The case was droppedLawyers argued that the man’s “forced indecency” was not a crime. Although he was told by police that he would stay in custody for 15 days, the investigation was concluded.

It has caused a storm on social media – not only about the sexual harassment in the workplace but also about the toxic tradition of forcing employees to consume excessively at work and at social events.

The hashtag “how to see workplace drinking culture” was shared on Weibo more than 110mx. People have also posted their experiences with being pressured into drinking in work settings.

It is easy to see similarities in China’s drinking habits and the East Asian countries that Japan shares. nomikai South Korea hoesik Gatherings can also be a key component in building solid work relationships.

China is a country where the liquors are consumed during lavish banquet meals. baijiu Popular drinks include rum, which can contain up to 60% alcohol.

Younger workers should respect higher-ups by toasting with alcohol. Businessmen who want to impress clients will often do this.

“Generally speaking, you use very positive words to express gratitude for the relationship.” Ms Rui ma, a tech analyst from China, said that she has been to many dinners with business people in China.

You get drunker the more you toast.

Senior managers might pressure their new hires to drink more, leaving them with a sick junior and worse.

According to Ms Ma, “It is difficult to say no to my boss due to the strong sense of hierarchy China has,”

Employees often have difficulty refusing to be invited to dinners.

Hanyu Liu, a China market analyst at Daxue Consulting said that refusing such an invitation would be considered extremely rude and would not allow employees to progress in their careers.

Mingxi shared that she worried about getting sidelined from work if any of these gatherings were to be canceled.

These dinners are important enough that people may use them to get close to top executives. It’s not right for everybody,” she explained.

2016. Officials from the government Civil servants were reprimanded for their actionsInterdiction to them of touching alcohol in the course of their official duties.

The tradition continues in most private businesses, especially in those with older managers. However, there have been several high-profile incidents.

A Shenzhen security guard died in January after being persuaded by his boss to take part in a drinking competition after dinner.

He was also forced to drink too much at the event. His friend had to be admitted for alcohol poisoning.

According to local media reports, the security company paid out 5,000 yuan ($775, £576) to cover his medical expenses, while the boss involved quit.

In August 2013, a Beijing bank employee claimed he had been cursed after refusing to drink at a banquet.

After he shared the story in an internet chat group, it became public.

Note how his fellows were vomiting as well as “tipsy officers being touchy-feely to female colleagues” at the exact same event, he wrote “I want to inquire human resources: Does the job require that I am unable to drink?”

The bank responded by confirming that the senior employee had done something wrong and offering its apology. He was also warned and his wages were reduced.

The rest of the year, however, will be Kris Wu, a high-profile celebrity accused of rape, is the subject of high-profile allegationsThe allegations of forced drinking at a meeting offering young women opportunities for work were also made earlier in the year. All allegations have been denied by Mr Wu.

Experts say the end of forced business drinking is near, given the public outcry over the recent events.

According to Mr Liu of Daxue Consulting, “Business drinking is something that has existed for a very long time.”

“China is very connected online and can quickly take down companies and people, just by the sheer number of users.”

Companies should be cautious when doing business that might result in government action, as there is a wider crackdown being conducted by the state against several sectors, even the largest ones.

Liu explained that “taking into consideration recent dynamics between China’s political and corporate space, the last things firms want is for to be under the spotlight”.

The Alibaba scandal broke and Daniel Zhang, CEO, assured his employees through a memo that the company is “staunchly against forced drinking culture”.

Shortly thereafter, China’s Anti-Corruption Watchdog called for the end of this “disgusting tradition”, adding an online commentary that would reinforce oversight of Chinese businesses to combat it.

Liu stated that China’s drinking habits after work will change.



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