Alibaba actually posted this job for a “stunning” woman to motivate programmers

Alibaba compared its ideal programmer cheerleader to Japanese porn star Sora Aoi.
Alibaba compared its ideal programmer cheerleader to Japanese porn star Sora Aoi.
Image: AP/Vincent Thian
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Chinese internet powerhouse Alibaba has taken down a job posting that sought a woman to fill the role of “programmer encouragement specialist.” It was just as bad as that sounds.

The ad, which first appeared on Alibaba’s website on April 29, said the ”specialist” would join the team of dingtalk, an Alibaba-backed messaging app. It compared the ideal candidate to both Japanese porn star Sora Aoi and Korean actress Song Hye-kyo.

After coverage in the Chinese press with snarky headlines like “Beautiful women mean productivity!” (link in Chinese) and backlash on social media, Alibaba took the ad down from its job board. Responding to Quartz’s inquiries, an Alibaba group spokesperson said the ad “was intended to be an attempt at humorous marketing to recruit IT talent.”

“We apologize to anyone offended by this ad and have taken it down,” the statement added. “Alibaba is committed to providing equal opportunity and fair treatment to all employees on the basis of merit, without discrimination.”

The ad had the flair of an April Fool’s joke, if an extremely offensive one. But according to Bloomberg, Alibaba is still advertising for a “programmer encouragement specialist,” just with the references to porn stars and women removed.

Quartz has translated the ad in its entirety below. It used to live at this link, but here’s a screenshot instead.

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Alibaba opening: Programmer Encouragement Specialist

You didn’t read that wrong. This isn’t a job for a programmer. It’s for a Programmer! Encouragement! Specialist!

What the job is: Effectively encourage teams of developers, bring them closer together, inspire excellent and lasting work.

Basic requirements: Recognizably good looks. You don’t seek to be a peerless talent, but strive to adequately inspire programmers.

Location: Hangzhou city, the one and only origin of Alibaba.

First off we are very social and talkative. Job requirements:

  1. Your appearance is adequately stunning to programmers. Even a quick glance at you should excite and inspire them greatly. You might be an open-minded lolita like Sora Aoi, who can face the greatest of challenges. Or you’re like Song Hye-kyo. From a wealthy family and with a Korean demeanor, possessing female beauty that exceeds nature itself; even without makeup countless programmers chase after you. You could also have a foreign demeanor, with bold style, a dignified way of speaking, encouraging the team the way a martial arts master does her students.
  2. You must understand how to compliment and encourage programmers, and you can recognize the difference between praise and flattery. You can put engineers and programmers at ease, developing a spirited relationship with these co-workers and removing barriers between them. This relationship will develop like the inseparable bond of soldiers on a battlefield, together able to overcome the greatest challenges.
  3. You must wake up programmers early for morning meetings, communicate to them their daily responsibilities, and verify and encourage completion of their duties.
  4. You are able to identify the hidden potential in every programmer and engineer. With excellent listening and communication skills, you can turn them into soft-hearted men and women. You are warm to the complicated and difficult work they do, encouraging excellent and lasting work.
  5. You are open to new things. You can tolerate highly garlicky and spicy foods that may contain strong flavors such as MSG and soy sauce.
  6. You are capable of going anywhere in the world—whether to the United States, Canada, France, Japan, Hong Kong, Brazil, or the Philippines—to praise and encourage local programmers.

Finally, what is this job all about, and what’s in it for you?

Nothing, not even in our imaginations, is beyond reach when it comes to our footprint in the world of global business. We are working hard to create a social network at Alibaba, to make our mark on the world of business both in China and in the world at large. We won’t witness these changes, but take hold of them.

It’s true that 99% of the people around us think our team is crazy, “Working on groups at Alibaba, fuck.” But we’ll just say that even if it’s 100%, we don’t care. After all, working with a creative team on an awesome product is not something everyone understands. We are the dingtalk team.

Job requirements:

  1. Team-oriented. Do you prefer one programmer to others, causing those sidelined to feel left out? Points subtracted.
  2. A flatterer. Do you give off negative vibes to programmers? Points subtracted.
  3. Is your photo is too beautiful, Photoshopped to the point that programmers can’t recognize you? Points subtracted.
  4. Is your CV densely packed, with thousands of words, but none mention the feelings of programmers? Points subtracted.
  5. You must understand technology and dingtalk, otherwise your mystification in conversation might slow the programmers down. 200 points sub-sub-subtracted and get away from our team!