Mobike executive suspended over sexual harassment allegations | Society News | SupChina

Mobike executive suspended over sexual harassment allegations

An anonymous female software engineer at Mobike, one of the biggest bike-sharing companies in China, has published an open letter accusing her supervisor, Zhang Yaochun 张耀春, of sexual harassment and abuse of power.

Zhang is the manager of the firm’s client-facing division, a husband, and the father of a six-month-old son. The anonymous complaint shared on Youdao Cloud Note (in Chinese) alleges that Zhang leveraged his position to “sexually harass three female employees to various degrees, exploit his power to oppress those who act against his will, and hire women with whom he saw the potential of developing sexual relationships.”

The alleged victim, who joined Mobike in August 2017, said that Zhang’s constant offensive remarks and threats had caused her anxiety and depression. Examples of the harassment she claims she was subjected to include Zhang soliciting selfies from her, asking her out late at night, and demanding that she work on his personal projects over weekends. The female employee also alleges that when she declined his demands, she faced blatant retaliation, including insulting language and discrimination in the workplace. She says this made her “so terrified and disgusted” that she could not focus on her job.

The complaint also reveals that Zhang hired “Qiulian,” a former colleague of his at Didi Chuxing. He is alleged to have told her on multiple occasions that promotions and raises were associated with her willingness to develop a romantic relationship with him. After “Qiulian” declined, Zhang bullied her in the office and forced her to leave the company. “Qiulian is the one who suffered the most among us. Zhang’s harassment affected her work so much that she had to quit,” the employee claims.

Mobike has not yet issued an official response to the allegations. But according to iFeng.com (in Chinese), Zhang has been suspended from his post.

Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.

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