Alibaba was criticised for recruiting 'Ali beauties' and 'goddesses'

Major Chinese tech firms including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu have apologised for sexist adverts.

According to the BBC, a report by campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has highlighted sexist recruitment practices by leading Chinese tech firms and government agencies.

HRW’s report, titled ‘Only Men Need Apply: Gender Discrimination in Job Advertisements in China’ analysed over 36,000 job advertisements posted between 2013 and 2018 on Chinese recruitment and company websites and on social media platforms.

“Nearly one in five job ads for China’s 2018 national civil service called for ‘men only’ or ‘men preferred’,” said HRW’s China director Sophie Richardson.

“Chinese authorities need to act now to enforce existing laws to end government and private hiring practices that blatantly discriminate against women.”

Both tech giants and government agencies were guilty of publishing “male only” adverts, whilst others requested their female applicants to be “trim” and “aesthetically pleasing”.

Alibaba was found to have used phrases such as “Ali beauties” and “goddesses” in their recruitment adverts on social media.

Tencent and Baidu were also guilty of using adverts that reflected,“traditional and deeply discriminatory views” of women being less capable than their male counterparts.

Women were confined to being family caregivers and thus were not trusted to commit fully to their jobs.

Alibaba said it would “conduct stricter reviews”, claiming their “track record of not just hiring but promoting women in leadership positions speaks for itself”.

One-third of Alibaba’s founders and managers are women and the company said it would ensure “compliance with our policy” of providing “equal opportunity regardless of gender”

Tencent said the practices highlighted in the report “do not reflect our values”.

“We are sorry they occurred and we will take swift action to ensure they do not happen again,” it added.

A Baidu spokesperson said, “We value the important work that our female employees do across the organisation, and deeply regret the instances where our job postings did not align with Baidu’s values.”

Huawei said it would ensure its recruitment materials are “fully sensitive of gender equality”.