Patrick Liu — the president of Alibaba’s Digital Entertainment Unit — was detained in China a few days ago. Officials are concerned about events that took place during the time Liu ran the video division of investment holding company Tencent, and it “has nothing to do with Alibaba,” the e-retailer says.
Tencent says today that about a half-dozen former employees were detained as part of “an ongoing graft investigation,” Reuters reports. Liu left Tencent in 2013.
Although Alibaba may not be implicated in charges against Liu, it could be affected if he’s taken out of the picture.
Last month Liu was out front in the company’s announcement of its launch of a streaming service to be called TBO (for Tmall Box Office) that will offer in-house productions as well as other content from China and other countries. “Our goal is to become like HBO in the United States, to become like Netflix in the United States,” he said.
And last year he helped engineer Alibaba’s alliance with Lionsgate to create another streaming service, Lionsgate Entertainment World. It offers access to high-profile Lionsgate movies and TV series.