|Adult film star Sola Aoi was cited in Alibaba's recruitment ad|
|JD.com's ad for International Nurses Day last month drew ire|
"I will never buy things from JD again. What disgusting behaviour!" one woman wrote.
The firm quickly yanked the ad and apologized.
It turns out Chinese technology companies have a history of inviting Japanese adult film stars to events. While the authorities ban online content they deem pornographic, illegal downloads have allowed adult film actresses to have huge followings in China.
|Rola Takizawa on stage at an event hosted by Qihoo|
One wonders what the female staff at these companies thought of the company fueling their male colleague's carnal desires in the workplace... or they just shook their heads and continued working...
"In mainstream [Chinese] society, there is objectification of women and gender inequality," said Wang Ping of the Zhejiang Academy of Social Sciences. "It might be more serious in technology companies."
For now, though it seems Alibaba has learned its lesson. Following criticism, it removed the ad and apologized.
It was "intended to be an attempt at humorous marketing to recruit IT talent," the company said. "We apologize to anyone offended... Alibaba is committed to providing equal opportunity and fair treatment to all employees on the basis of merit, without discrimination."
Until attitudes seriously change from the top, sexism will continue to be rampant in China's companies... which means with men in charge, it probably won't change anytime soon...