Chen Shaojiefounder and CEO of DouYuone of the largest Chinese platforms for broadcasting live content, has been missing for weeks, after the authorities opened an investigation for the broadcast of illegal content, state media reported.
The entrepreneur has not been seen since October and industry experts suggested that his disappearance may be related to suspicions that there were bets during a live broadcast on his platform, the Shanghai state newspaper reported on Monday. The Paper.
DouYu, which has capital from the giant Tencent, is also listed in the United States with a market capitalization of 268 million dollars.
When questioned by AFP Regarding Chen’s whereabouts, a company spokesperson did not provide any details and stated that “DouYu’s business activities continue as normal.”
The local media Cover Newsbased in Chengdu, reported that company employees are unaware of Chen’s whereabouts and have not been able to contact him.
Authorities have not released any information indicating that Chen was detained, but in China there are cases of senior company executives disappearing before it is announced that they are being investigated.
Live broadcasts are an activity that moves millions in China and generates enormous profits, both for e-commerce giants and “influencers.”
But the regime tries to combat content that it classifies as “immoral” and has launched several investigations against the main social media platforms and also against well-known profiles with many followers.
Authorities opened an investigation against DouYu in May over accusations of having spread pornography and other content classified as “vulgar.”
“DouYu’s business operations remain normal,” they said.
There has been no official confirmation of Chen’s detention, but prolonged disappearances of top executives in China are often followed by announcements that they are under investigation.
Bao Fanthe billionaire chairman and chief executive of investment bank China Renaissance, disappeared this year and was later revealed to be “cooperating” in an official investigation.
Live streaming is a multibillion-dollar phenomenon in China, generating huge profits for both e-commerce giants and popular influencers.
But Beijing has sought to crack down on content perceived as immoral in the burgeoning industry, launching investigations into several major social media platforms and targeting prominent influencers.
Authorities conducted a wide-ranging investigation into DouYu in May over concerns about pornography and other “vulgar” content.
Several of China’s top financiers and businessmen have fallen from grace in recent years, and President Xi Jinping’s intense crackdown on alleged corruption shows no signs of abating.
The former head of Chinese state-owned banking giant Everbright Group, Li Xiaopeng, was arrested last month on charges of accepting bribes.
And in September, the Chinese Communist Party’s former chairman and head of China Life Insurance, Wang Bin, was sentenced to life in prison for corruption.
(With information from AFP)