According to an initial judgment published by the Beijing Court Trial Information Network on Friday, Zhao Danyang, the former vice president of Chinese short video platform Kuaishou, was sentenced to seven years in prison for accepting bribes of 7.56 million yuan ($1.16 million).
Zhao joined Kuaishou in February 2015 and was made responsible for building the comprehensive content review and rating system. During this time, Zhao basically achieved the distribution and recommendation rights for content on the platform. Before working at Kuaishou, Zhao served as deputy editor-in-chief and content management director of video platform Youku, where he was mainly responsible for the operation and management of the site’s community.
In February 2021, Tech Planet reported that Zhao was arrested for alleged corruption after leaving Kuaishou, along with two subordinates. Kuaishou confirmed the report.
According to the judgment, from June 2015 to March 2019, Zhao took advantage of his position and received bribes of about 6.68 million yuan ($1.03 million) from an outsourcing company of Kuaishou. Moreover, Zhao and his subordinates embezzled 885,000 yuan through forging fictitious employees’ wages and overtime subsidies.
In recent years, anti-corruption has become an important task for major Chinese internet companies in China. In 2005, Tencent first proposed an extremely strict regulation called “Tencent‘s High Voltage Line,” which included six points: fraud, bribery, revealing secrets, improper competition, conflicts of interest and violation of discipline. On February 2, 2021, Tencent announced that since the fourth quarter of 2019, it has fired nearly 100 staff deemed to have violated these regulations, reporting more than 40 people to authorities. Tencent also perpetually stopped cooperation with many entities, such as outsourcing firms.