August 9, 2018 / 10:59 AM / 7 months ago

China's Mobike suspends manager after sexual misconduct accusation

BEIJING, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Chinese bike-sharing startup Mobike said on Thursday it has suspended a manager after a member of staff filed a complaint of sexual harassment, the first known expansion of a fledgling #MeToo movement into China’s burgeoning tech sector.

Mobike said in a statement to Reuters it had suspended a manager, pending further investigation.

“Mobike attaches great importance to this matter, and set up a special committee to launch a full investigation immediately after receiving a report of misconduct,” the company said.

A female Mobike engineer said in a letter circulating online on Thursday that she and two other female colleagues had suffered sexual harassment.

The woman said a manager tried to seduce employees with promises of better work conditions and the man sometimes asked female colleagues to bring meals to his home.

The investigation came amid a wave of allegations that has stoked debate and seen the #MeToo movement gain momentum and expand into different sectors of society.

Since late last month, accusations of sexual assault have spread across China’s social media as the #MeToo movement takes aim at prominent activists, intellectuals and television personalities.

The allegations against the Mobike manager were the first to emerge publicly in the tech sector, where some companies have faced accusations of discriminatory hiring practices based on gender.

Reporting by Pei Li, Cate Cadell and Philip Wen Editing by Robert Birsel

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