Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding has demoted Jiang Fan, one of its most senior executives, following an investigation for unprofessional conduct in office.
Alibaba has since relieved Jiang, who pioneered the main e-commerce divisions, from a partnership of 38 people, which appoints some Alibaba board members. Jiang was also relegated to group vice president from group senior vice president, said an anonymous source.
Alibaba and Jiang kept mute over the news.
What spurned Jiang’s demotion?
Jiang’s relationship with a prominent social media influencer, Zhang Dayi, and alleged preferential treatment to merchants associated with Ruhnn Holding Ltd, an e-commerce company where Zhang serves as Chief Marketing Officer may have resulted in Jiang’s demotion.
Alibaba bought a stake in Ruhnn in 2016. Ruhnn went public last year.
In its internal investigation, Alibaba concluded that its investment in Ruhnn “has nothing to do with Jiang Fan” and that Ruhnn stores had not benefited from Jiang’s influence, according to a note to all staff seen by the person.
But the note also said that due to “inappropriate handling of family affairs,” Jiang had “triggered a serious public opinion crisis which created a major impact on the company’s reputation”, according to the memo.