Monday, December 11, 2023

CEO of Chinese live-streaming service DouYu goes missing

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The CEO of a Chinese live-streaming service supported by Tencent, Chen Shaojie of DouYu, has gone missing, becoming the latest high-profile executive to vanish in China, as reported by CNN. DouYu, a Chinese live streaming platform often likened to Amazon’s Twitch, allows users to interact with live video game streams and real-time chats.

Chen Shaojie’s unexplained absence has raised concerns, with unconfirmed reports suggesting that he is under investigation and has been missing for nearly three weeks. The report did not specify the authorities behind the investigation, and DouYu did not provide a response to CNN’s request for comment. Chen’s last public appearance was in August during the company’s quarterly earnings conference call with financial analysts.

DouYu made its debut on the Nasdaq in 2019, raising approximately $775 million, marking one of the largest share offerings by a Chinese company on Wall Street that year.

Chen Shaojie’s disappearance coincides with China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, which has ensnared numerous top executives, particularly in the finance and tech sectors. The campaign is led by China’s anti-corruption watchdog.

Notable figures, such as Zhang Hongli, a former senior executive at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of China’s “Big Four” lenders, have faced investigations related to corruption allegations. Bao Fan, a prominent investment banker and tech dealmaker, was also caught up in the anti-graft sweep, with reports indicating he had been in custody since his disappearance in February.

In 2023, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s top anti-corruption watchdog, has investigated over a dozen senior executives at major financial institutions. Other industries have not been immune, with high-profile figures like Xu Jiayin, the chairman of the embattled Chinese developer Evergrande Group, facing legal measures related to suspicion of crimes.

The disappearance of business executives in China is not uncommon, as the authorities can detain individuals for extended periods without formal charges or access to legal representation. The circumstances surrounding these cases often remain shrouded in secrecy.

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