Chinese internet giant Tencent has fired more than 120 people over alleged fraud

Chinese internet giant Tencent announced last year that it was ousting more than 120 people over allegations of corruption and theft, as well as anti-fraud violations.

Global video game giant Tencent is one of China's major tech giants thanks to its WeChat (messaging, online payment and social networking) app, which can be found on every phone in the country.

In 2022, Tencent founder Bonnie Ma deemed the level of corruption at her company “shocking” and vowed to take action, according to comments reported by official media at the time.

In 2023, Tencent confirmed that more than 70 code of conduct violations were recorded.

The group said in a statement released Friday that “more than 120 people have been terminated” from the company and about two dozen have reported to authorities.

Some of the employees accused of corruption and expelled worked in the PCG branch of the group responsible for publishing content (news, sports, movies…).

Others worked in the group's medical services branch. Tencent is a pioneer in the field of telemedicine applications in China.

A Tencent employee was sentenced to 4 years in prison and fined 100,000 yuan (12,900 euros) for “property theft”.

The group currently has over 100,000 employees.

The announcement comes after China's digital giants have had a tough year.

After achieving growth, the authorities saw a sudden crackdown with the aim of regulating the sector from 2020.

The shift resulted in billions of dollars in losses in market value, undermining the results of strong internet companies and hurting Tencent as well.

China's restrictions on online gaming time for under-18s have led to a decline in the group's profits.

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Tencent is currently looking for more opportunities overseas, particularly in Europe, where it is trying to strengthen itself by acquiring stakes in video game studios.

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