Tencent fires 100 employees, blacklists 37 firms in anti-graft campaign

Tencent Holdings Ltd on Wednesday named 37 companies it had blacklisted from future contracts and said it has fired more than 100 staff over embezzlement and bribery incidents.a group of people standing in front of a building: FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A logo of Tencent is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen A logo of Tencent is seen during the World Internet Conference (WIC)

Tencent, China’s biggest social media and video games company, said in a social media post that it had reported 40 employees to authorities since it started an anti-graft campaign in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In one case, an employee in its game publishing division sought benefits for outside parties and obtained kickbacks from them, Tencent said in the name and shame post. Chinese tech companies have doubled down on corruption investigations in recent years, as their valuations and profiles have soared following a tech boom in the country.

The arrest of a senior Alibaba Group Holding Ltd executive in 2018 indicated that a years-long anti-graft drive spearheaded by President Xi Jinping would not spare the country’s web titans. Yang Weidong, the president of Alibaba’s video streaming service Youkou, stepped down before he was given a seven-year jail sentence.

China’s tech companies have since provided regular updates on their anti-corruption measures. Tencent said on Wednesday it would stick to a “zero tolerance” policy towards unethical behaviour.

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