Friday, January 22, 2021

Baofeng Founder Detained on Bribery Allegations, Company Says

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Baofeng Group Co. founder and President Feng Xin’s detention was linked to a police investigation of bribery charges, the Shenzhen-listed online video services company said Wednesday as regulators demanded more information about the matter.

Feng was taken into custody on suspicion of sending bribes to nonstate functionaries, Baofeng said in a filing. The crime is subject to three to 10 years in prison.

The company first reported Feng’s detention Sunday citing “suspected crimes.”

Feng is the chairman, president and board secretary of Baofeng.

The Shenzhen bourse requested that the company make further disclosures on the incident’s impact on the company’s business operations and its response measures.

Baofeng said Wednesday that it is unclear whether the probe of Feng has any link with the company, which hasn’t received any notice regarding the investigation.

Read MoreChina: Former Energy Chieftain Admits Taking Bribes

The company has taken measures to reduce the impact of the incident and will cut costs to maintain stable business operations, Baofeng said.

Separate sources told Caixin that the investigation of Feng may be related to the company’s ill-fated acquisition of British sports media company MP & Silva Holding SA in 2016.

The 5.2 billion yuan ($750 million) deal led to a series of lawsuits involving Everbright Securities Co. Ltd. and China Merchants Bank Co.

Caixin reported in April that Xiang Tong, former director of Everbright’s capital investment division and the manager of the takeover project, was arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes.

Baofeng, once a high-flying online video service provider, has been rattled by expanding losses and massive debt.

The company’s stock, listed on ChiNext, the Nasdaq-style tech board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, has lost nearly all of its value, plunging to 5.3 yuan from the peak of 116.50 yuan in 2015.

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