Alibaba digital entertainment head detained in Tencent graft investigation

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 July, 2015, 10:51am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 July, 2015, 10:51am

An Alibaba executive has been detained since June by Chinese authorities for graft activities during his previous employment at Tencent, according to media reports.

The arrest of Patrick Liu, currently the president of Alibaba Group’s digital entertainment business unit, comes after Chinese tech giant Tencent released the results of its 2014 internal corruption investigation.

Liu was previously the head of Tencent video, and left the company in 2013 before joining Alibaba.

“We understand Patrick Liu, with our digital entertainment unit, has been detained by the authorities. This issue is related to his time at Tencent and has nothing to do with Alibaba,” said Alibaba spokesman Bob Christie in a statement.

Tencent found that a number of employees from its online video operations were engaged in corruption and bribery, and the company has already filed reports with the police.

In an official statement, Tencent said that the company noticed suspicious activity in the video content procurement process. Police investigation revealed a collusion between employees and video content providers to inflate the prices of their content in order to reap profit. Since the beginning of 2014, five to six employees involved in the corruption have been arrested by the police and the case is still under investigation, according to Tencent.

Tencent also added that it reported four cases of corruption to the police. In one of the cases, an employee took a bribe from a Xi’an distributor totalling several hundred thousands of yuan. The company confirmed that the employee has been terminated and the individuals involved have been arrested.

The tech giant also emphasised that it does not tolerate fraud or corruption activities, and said that it would not hesitate to turn employees over to the police if they were found to be involved in illegal activity.