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Top public relations director at Chinese social media giant Weibo arrested

FILE Photograph: A person retains an Iphone as he visits Sina’s Weibo microblogging web site in Shanghai May possibly 29, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

August 10, 2021

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese authorities have arrested a leading general public relations government at Chinese social media big Weibo Corp, nearby Chinese media described greatly on Tuesday and confirmed to Reuters by a corporation source.

According to an interior memo sent to staff members and viewed by Reuters, Mao Taotao, director of community relations at Weibo – which is partly owned by e-commerce large Alibaba Group Keeping Ltd. – is suspected of bribery and experienced “seriously harmed the pursuits of the organization.”

“In accordance with firm plan and the regulation, we have decided to fireplace Mao as punishment, and will not re-employ the service of him,” the memo mentioned.

The firing comes as Alibaba faces backlash in excess of delaying motion relating to an employee’s allegations of sexual assault https://www.reuters.com/planet/china/alibaba-fires-supervisor-who-allegedly-sexually-assaulted-woman-staffer-2021-08-09 against her manager and a customer. On Monday, Alibaba announced the supervisor experienced been fired.

Mao joined Weibo in 2010 and promptly rose by way of the ranks of the internet marketing and PR office, the memo states.

Weibo did not answer to a ask for for remark from Reuters. Mao could not be quickly arrived at.

Weibo has arrive under hearth lately in the wake of a scandal involving Chinese-Canadian pop singer Kris Wu, who Chinese authorities arrested on allegations of soliciting sexual intercourse with underage girls. Wu has denied the allegations.

Not extended after Wu’s arrest, condition media outlet People’s Day by day revealed an op-ed admonishing social networks for about-hyping stars to create site visitors.

Weibo later suspended a greatly employed aspect that ranks celebrities by popularity.

Alibaba did not quickly respond to a ask for for comment about Mao’s firing at Weibo.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz in Shanghai and Cheng Leng in Beijing Enhancing by Bernadette Baum)

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