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PR director at Chinese Twitter analogue Weibo detained on bribery and fraud charges

'Facing the temptation of interests, he lost his principles'

The director of public relations at Sina Weibo – China's equivalent to Twitter – was arrested on suspicion of bribery and fraud, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday.

State-owned Global Times said PR exec Mao Taotao was fired and blocked from future employment with the Sina Corporation microblogging website.

An internal memo was sent to staff and republished in the media accusing Taotao of "seriously [harming] the interests of the company." The memo said Sina is assisting with the investigation and confirmed the exec is no longer an employee.

An automated online translation of the memo reads:

Facing the temptation of interests, he lost his principles and fell behind the bottom line.

The memo also claimed the company was demonstrating a "zero tolerance attitude towards fraud."

China's government has increasingly cracked down on big tech companies and is always enormously intolerant of corruption.

Sina Weibo is indeed a big tech company, pulling in almost $459m in Q1 2021, a 42 per cent year-on-year increase.

News of the arrest came a day after another Chinese tech giant, Alibaba, was widely criticised for internal procedures that failed to muster a decent response to an employee's attempt to report alleged sexual assault by a colleague. ®

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