Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chinese social media giant Tencent fires 100 employees over bribery, embezzlement allegations

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Tencent Holdings Ltd. fired more than 100 employees on suspicion of graft after a series of investigations over the past year, offering a rare glimpse into an anti-corruption campaign within China’s most valuable corporation.

The social media and gaming giant said it’s investigated allegations of graft in about 60 cases since the fourth quarter of 2019, and reported more than 40 staffers to police. It also blacklisted and terminated relations with 37 partner companies over the course of the probes, the social media giant said on its official WeChat account.

The rare revelation by one of China’s most prominent private firms underscores Beijing’s increasingly tough stance on corruption among government cadres and corporate executives. More than 1.5 million government officials alone have been punished in a years-long campaign prioritized by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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Beijing is now tightening scrutiny over its most powerful tech corporations, seeking to rein in their growing power in a plethora of sectors from finance to e-commerce and the sharing economy.

Allegations of graft have surfaced sporadically among the country’s biggest tech giants in past years, but Tencent’s disclosures marked one of the most complete internal reviews yet publicized.

In its statement, Tencent singled out about a score of employees by name across several divisions including gaming and entertainment. It outlined alleged infractions from influence-peddling and accepting kickbacks from suppliers to bribery.

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