HANGZHOU, China–E-commerce giant Alibaba sought job applicants with porn star attributes and other tech firms host adult video starlets: China’s new economy powerhouses are not immune from old-style sexism.
Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong declared that “Women hold up half the sky,” but academics say the world’s most populous country is still far from gender equality, even in the modern and fast-growing technology sector.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 book “Lean In” — which talks about women’s career struggles — has been published in translation in China, but failed to spark the same heated debate as in the United States.
“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,” he said, citing more men working in technical fields in the trillion-dollar industry.
Nasdaq-listed online marketplace JD.com triggered online outrage in May when it promoted International Nurses Day with images of health workers in lingerie-like uniforms.
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