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Alibaba job advert asks for 'stunning' women with qualities of adult film actress Sora Aoi

Asia's biggest internet company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has withdrawn a job advertisement calling for candidates with similar qualities to a popular Japanese porn actress after it was accused of sexism.

The role in question was for a "programmer encouragement specialist", and asked for someone who knew how to praise the "code monkeys", wake them up and organise morning meetings, Bloomberg reported.

It was suggested that physical characteristics similar to celebrity adult film star Sora Aoi could help the applicant succeed.

Screenshots of the advertisement have been widely shared on social media, with the first job requirement translated as: "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."

Alibaba claimed the advert was an attempt at "humorous marketing to recruit talent", however it was pulled after a backlash on social media and coverage by the press.

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A new job advertisement has since been posted which explicitly said men and women are able to apply.

In a statement given to Quartz, an Alibaba group spokesperson said the ad was “intended to be an attempt at humorous marketing to recruit IT talent”.

"We apologise 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."