(Yicai Global) April 20 -- Jiang Fan, the president of Alibaba Group Holding’s Tmall business-to-consumer e-commerce unit, apologized on April 18 for comments his wife made on China’s Twitter-like Weibo and for racy rumors that circulated online that negatively affected the company’s image and pleaded with the firm to probe him on the issue.
A user named ‘Huahua Dong Huahua’ warned online celebrity and fashion influencer Zhang Dayi not to mess with her husband on April 17. Some users noted that ‘Huahua Dong Huahua’ is Jiang’s wife, The Paper reported yesterday. The Weibo comment, which stirred up a hornet’s nest of salacious speculation as to the relationship between Jiang and Zhang, has since been deleted.
Jiang made the threat through the company's intranet. Alibaba’s Chief Talent Officer Tong Wenhong posted a reply saying it was improper to drag the firm’s name into the mud over family affairs and Jiang should think things over and apologize. The company will probe the matter, Tong added, The Paper quoted an insider as saying.
Zhang was an e-commerce model candidate of the year at Sohu Fashion Festival 2015. She is also the second-largest shareholder of Alibaba-backed US-listed Ruhan Holdings, which is aChinese influencer incubator. Zhang contributed up to 53.5 percent of Ruhan's revenue last year. Alibaba holds 7.5 percent of the company’s shares [NASDAQ:RUHN], according to its prospectus. The firm’s stock closed6.36percentdown at USD3.83on April 17.
Jiang is one of the youngest managers in Alibaba ’s top management. He joined the Hangzhou-based tech and e-commerce giant in 2013 and became the president of its Taobao consumer-to consumer platform in December 2017. He also served as the president of Tmall in March 2019 and became its legal representative, chairman and general manager on April 19 last year.
Editor: Ben Armour