E-games creator CY Foundation gets visit from ICAC

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 September, 2010, 12:00am

CY Foundation Group's plans to conquer the mainland's burgeoning digital entertainment industry appear to have hit a snag, following a visit by Hong Kong's graftbusters.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday swooped on the group's headquarters in Wan Chai, where officers reportedly stayed several hours before taking away documents and an undisclosed number of employees whose identities are unknown.

In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday, CY Foundation executive director Woelm Samuel said the group's board had requested a suspension of trading in its shares, 'pending the release of a public announcement in relation to information, which is considered to be price-sensitive in nature'.

CY Foundation, which describes itself as the mainland's leading electronic sports tournament provider, was in the middle of pre-launch testing of its flagship, multiplayer online game when the ICAC raid occurred.

A spokeswoman for CY Foundation confirmed that 'the ICAC contacted the company yesterday', but declined to elaborate. The ICAC had no comment on the investigation.

In May, gaming machines and software that CY Foundation bought from a company called Weike, owned by a former director of the group, were confiscated by mainland police for being used in gambling.

A month earlier, Luck Continent, a substantial shareholder of CY Foundation, filed a lawsuit against group chairman Theodore Cheng Chee Tock and his spouse, and six other corporate shareholders, concerning various allegations related to the group's investments.

CY Foundation recently received approval from the General Administration of Press and Publication and the Ministry of Culture to operate its South Korean-developed online game, Rohan, across the country as part of its move into the larger and more profitable online game market.

With the Communist Youth League-owned Network Media Centre and software developer Playtech as strategic partners, CY Foundation has developed a network of more than 20,000 internet cafes to help promote its e-sports game sites.