A former general manager at one of e-commerce giant Alibaba’s web businesses has been arrested by Chinese police on suspicion of bribery, as the scandal-hit firm struggles to move on from long-standing allegations of corruption.
China’s biggest e-commerce business revealed the news on Thursday that Yan Limin, until recently general manager of Groupon-style daily deals site Juhuasuan, had been cuffed by cops in the eastern city of Hangzhou.
Yan was kicked out of the company back in March for what Alibaba described as "misconduct", the firm said in a statement, adding that its internal investigation had revealed a further 28 employees had been involved in dodgy dealings.
Alibaba posted a lengthy statement on the affair, which is rendered virtually incomprehensible by Google Translate, but a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the company told The Reg that its own Integrity Department had co-operated fully with the police.
“It re-emphasises that Alibaba Group has a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and is determined to stamp out these types of behaviour,” she said.
“From an overall perspective, this is a continuation of what we discussed before: we are transparently communicating with customers, vendors and third parties, as well as employees, when we find a situation involving misconduct inside the company.”
This isn’t the first time that corruption allegations have enveloped the company.
In February 2011, CEO David Wei and COO Elvis Lee were forced to quit after the firm alleged that members of their sales team had allowed thousands of suppliers to defraud the site’s customers.
Alibaba insists that these were “isolated situations”, however, and has its sights set on the more important business of growing profits and attacking the smartphone market with its home-grown Aliyun OS. ®