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In China, Alibaba video platform leader arrested for corruption

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On the Alibaba campus in Hangzhou, China, in May 2016. John Ruwitch / REUTERS

Hard blow for Alibaba: the head of his video section, Yang Weidong, head of the platform Youku, was arrested on December 3 and has “Resigned” Alibaba said in a statement. Yang Weidong is suspected of having “Sought economic benefits A common euphemism for talking about corruption. A case that reminds that in technology also corruption is present in China, although cases are more common in traditional sectors such as real estate.

A few days earlier, Meituan Dianping, a delivery and services giant, announced a survey of 89 sales staff, including 30 at the company and 59 at partners.

Read also Arrest of Huawei leader causes tension between Beijing and Washington

Yang Weidong worked at Nokia and then Lenovo, before joining Youku Tudou in 2013 as vice president of the successful video platform. When it was bought by Alibaba in 2015, Yang Weidong is one of the few executives to keep his job. He will even take over the rotating presidency of Alibaba's entertainment and digital media branch in early 2018. He has been replaced for all of his positions by Alibaba Pictures' general manager, Fan Luyuan, who continues to serve as head of the company. Alibaba studios.

According to the Chinese economic magazine Caijing, Alibaba had launched an internal investigation into the leader for some time. The investigation covers amounts of more than 100 million yuan (12.7 million euros), unduly affected by the leader, said the magazine, which does not quote its sources. The facts would have occurred this year and would concern a show of hit varieties, “That's it! »(“Zhe jiu shi! “).

The actress Fan Bingbing had to repay 113 million to the taxman

Alibaba is engaged in a subscriber race against its major rivals owned by the other two giants of the Chinese Web, Tencent Video, and the industry leader, iQiyi, a platform owned by Baidu. To attract subscribers, the platforms invest heavily in the production of content. At the end of 2016, Alibaba Entertainment, which manages Youku, as well as film production and ticket sales, announced 50 billion yuan (6.4 billion euros) in investment over three years.

But the race for production has resulted in inflationary wages of Chinese stars, and tax evasion practices. This year, the Chinese authorities, engaged in a campaign against corruption since Xi Jinping came to power in early 2013, targeted the film industry.

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