Alibaba Digital Entertainment President Detained by Chinese Police (Updated)

An Alibaba spokesman says “issue is related to his time at Tencent”

Last Updated: July 9, 2015 @ 1:14 PM

Patrick Liu Chunning, the president of Chinese company Alibaba’s digital entertainment unit, has been arrested by the Chinese police.

An Alibaba spokesman said in a statement to TheWrap, “We understand that Patrick Liu with our digital entertainment unit has been detained by the authorities. This issue is related to his time at Tencent and has nothing to do with Alibaba.”

Liu, who was formerly the head of rival Chinese media company Tencent, was arrested along with several other Tencent employees on corruption charges.

“An internal investigation brought to light bribery and corruption among some online video employees,” Tencent said in a statement to Reuters. “The police have been notified and we are waiting for the results.”

China is the world’s second-largest movie market by revenue, trailing only the United States. E-commerce giant Alibaba has been trying to put its stamp on the entertainment industry, investing billions in the process. In March, the company purchased Chinese film and entertainment company Enlight Media for $383 million.

Jack Ma’s firm debuted to a record $25 billion IPO in Sept. 2014. Shortly after, Alibaba invested $50 million in TV app maker Peel.

Alibaba also has a movie-ticketing website and a film crowdfunding product, Alibaba Pictures. It also owns an 18.5-percent stake in Youku Tudou Inc., one of China’s biggest video-streaming companies. Ma’s company holds a minority stake in film studio Huayi Brothers Media Corp.

Bloomberg reporter Lulu Yilun Chen first reported this news.

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