The scandal first hit Chinese social media and became the top topic discussed on Zhihu, a Chinese question-and-answer website, after chat screenshots were revealed.
“How much power do you have as a technician?” some netizens wrote, mocking the employee. “Is this some sort of performance art in an attempt to cause a PR emergency?”
Two days later, Alibaba fired the P8 employee.
“When I found out about this, I was very angry and very sad,” said Roy, the supervisor of the former employee. “Maybe we could have avoided this matter if we paid more attention to him when he joined us, and better emphasized the company’s management system.”
Roy confirmed that the chat screenshots rumored on social media were true, but the recruitment information was deceptive. According to company management regulations, Roy added, he was dismissed because he deceived and harassed job seekers by using a full-time position as bait for private purposes.
“The improper recruitment not only seriously affected the development of the employee, but also caused irreparable damage to the image of Alibaba,” Roy said.
Alibaba has two rank systems. One is P-sequence, representing technology; the other is M-sequence, representing management. P8 is a senior technician.
A source familiar with the matter said that the former staff was employed for only three months and still on probation.