Only a day after news broke of the detaining of former Tencent exec and current Alibaba Digital Entertainment Group head Patrick Liu Chunning, a number of other former employees at Chinese Internet giant Tencent have been arrested in a major anti-graft investigation.
A statement issued by Tencent said, “ex-employees in the online video unit were involved in bribery. The police were notified and we are waiting for results of their investigation… Five or six ex-employees have been arrested by the police since 2014, and the case is under further investigation currently.”
According to the statement, four cases are related to violations of code of conduct and were sent to the police in April 2015 and two of them were related to bribes.
Tencent, a hugely popular online video platform, makes up one-third of China’s so-called online troika BAT, along with Alibaba and Baidu. In January, the company announced a $700 million deal with the NBA to stream American basketball games in China. Tencent controls some of the biggest Internet, mobile and telecom platforms in China, including WeChat, QQ Instant Messenger, QQ Games and TenPay. It claims several hundred million users across all its platforms.
Tencent also announced a deal with HBO last November to distribute its content in China, subject to censorship approval.