Tencent fires over 100 employees found guilty of bribery and embezzlement
Chinese tech giant Tencent said on Monday it had fired more than 100 employees for violating company policies, with some referred to police and later convicted of bribery and embezzlement. .
The Hong Kong-listed company is the world’s largest video game maker and owner of the popular super app WeChat, but has struggled against a broad regulatory crackdown on China’s tech sector initiated in late 2020.
In a statement, the company – which recorded its second straight quarterly decline in revenue in November – said it had convicted more than 100 employees of violating its anti-fraud policy.
More than 10 of them have been transferred to China’s public security organ, he added.
“In response to the corruption and fraud issues within the company, Tencent’s anti-fraud investigation department continued to strengthen its crackdown and investigated and dealt with a series of violations with common issues,” said office.
“The number of cases and personnel investigated and treated throughout 2022 has increased compared to 2021,” he added.
The defendants were found guilty of embezzling company funds and accepting bribes, he added, with a number of them referred to the police and some found guilty by a tribunal.
A number of those fired and accused of corruption were part of the company’s PCG arm, which oversees its mammoth content production, from news to sports and movies.
But they also cover Tencent’s other businesses, including cloud computing and fintech.
Most notably, one employee was found guilty of “accepting bribes from non-state employees” and sentenced to three years in prison, the company said.
Company CEO Pony Ma told an internal staff meeting last month that the level of corruption within the company was “shocking”, state media reported.
Tencent has been hit hard by a regulatory crackdown on video games from Beijing, which has seen hundreds of companies pledging to remove ‘politically harmful’ content from their products and impose restrictions on underage players to comply with requirements. of the government.
But the company has shown signs of recovery, with its share price nearly doubling in Hong Kong since October 28, when it hit a low not seen since 2017.
The company also secured its first video game license in 18 months last month, ending a drought that had hampered profits for the world’s top video game maker.