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The Chief Executive Officer of a Chinese live-streaming service supported by Tencent has become the most recent high-flying executive to stay mysteriously quiet in the world’s second-largest economy.
Chen Shaojie, the CEO of DouYu (DOYU), could not be contacted in recent days, according to Cover News, a state media outlet, on Monday. It also mentioned unverified claims that Chen was being investigated and had been missing for approximately three weeks.
The media outlet did not identify the executives who might be responsible for the investigation, and DouYu did not promptly respond to CNN’s request for comment.
As per the report, the 39-year-old CEO, Chen, appeared publicly last in August when he engaged in a discussion with financial analysts during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call.
In the year 2019, DouYu was listed on Nasdaq, raising approximately $775 million, which was one of the largest share offerings by a Chinese company on Wall Street that year.
DouYu, which means “fighting fish” in Chinese, is often likened to Amazon’s Twitch service. It offers interactive live-streams of video games on its desktop and mobile applications, facilitates real-time chat among users, and also encourages them to watch other content created for its platform.
Chen’s sudden absence comes as China proceeds with an anti-corruption clampdown, which has entrapped high-ranking officials, especially from the finance and technology sectors.
In a short statement on Saturday, China’s primary anti-corruption watchdog revealed that it was examining Zhang Hongli, a former senior executive at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of China’s “Big Four” lenders.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection declared that Zhang was “suspected of seriously violating rules and regulations,” without divulging any more details, a term commonly used to refer to corruption.
Star investment banker and tech dealmaker Bao Fan was also implicated in this instance. In May, Chinese state media reported that Bao had been in custody of the anti-corruption agency since disappearing in February.
This year, the commission has scrutinized over a dozen senior executives at the nation’s most crucial financial institutions, according to a previous CNN analysis of statements published on the CCDI’s website.
Other industries have not fared well. Xu Jiayin, once among China’s wealthiest individuals and the chairman of embattled Chinese developer Evergrande Group, was apprehended by the police, as per a company filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September.
The company stated that it had received information from “relevant authorities” that he had been subjected to “…mandatory measures in accordance with law due to suspicion of crimes.” Under the Chinese legal framework, “compulsory” measures may include detention and formal arrest.
This report includes contributions from Juliana Liu.
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