Alibaba Pictures Group (APG) confirmed that a second company executive has been detained by Chinese authorities. According to Chinese media, security forces detained Kong Qi on suspicion of corruption in July. Kong was general manager of Tao Piaopiao, Alibaba’s online ticketing unit, and a vice president at Alibaba Pictures Group.
Another executive arrested on bribery charges
The arrest of Kong Qi reopens another high-profile case which took place in July 2015 when Liu Chunning was detained by Shenzhen police. Patrick Liu Chunning, another former APG executive, was arrested by security forces last year.
According to APG, Liu Chunning was removed from his posts this year in January for repeatedly failing to attend board meetings. The Chinese company announced that Liu Chunning was being investigated for alleged bribery. He was accused of accepting a bribe of $308,000 (RMB2.14 million) while working at a job with Tencent Video.
Citing local media sources, Variety says that Kong’s alleged offenses occurred prior to his joining APG. The offenses were allegedly done while Kong was working at Tencent. As per the allegations, Kong accepted bribes of about $1.44 million (RMB10 million).
Kong has nothing to do with Alibaba
Though Alibaba confirmed the news, it says Kong’s case has nothing to do with its businesses. The ex-manager left the online ticket booking unit after it raised RMB1.7 billion (US$260 million) in a series A fundraising round led by Sina Corp, CDH Investments, and Ant Financial in May, notes China Money Network.
During his time at the internet giant, Kong worked at Alibaba and Alipay. He was responsible for the overall operations of Tao Piaopiao while working at the online retailing giant. Tao Piaopiao, which was released at the end of 2014, was originally named Taobao Movie. It is a very popular online movie ticket sales platform.
In November 2015, this unit was injected into APG with Yuelebao, an entertainment consumer financial service unit, to turn APG into a full-service film company with capabilities from distribution to production, notes China Money Network.
Several China-based film companies, including Bona Film Group, participated in the series A round for Tao Piaopiao, valuing the unit at $2 billion (RMB13.7 billion). Currently, the platform provides booking services and online movie ticket sales in over 5,000 cinemas in China.
In pre-market trading today, Alibaba shares were in the green. Year to date, the stock is up almost 11%, while in the last six months, it is up more than 17%.