28 arrested in HK showbiz scandal

Co., label probed as questions raised over tune hype

HONG KONG — The local entertainment industry is reeling from a corruption scandal allegedy involving Canto-pop stars and other leading figures.

Anti-graft agency the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is looking into whether staff from a record firm and an entertainment company offered broadcasters favors in exchange for ensuring that certain discs and singers were well placed in the charts and won industry awards.

The ICAC has arrested 28 people since Wednesday including singer Juno Mak, execs from the territory’s leading web Television Broadcasts (TVB) and Universal Music HK, and Albert Yeung, the flamboyant chairman of film and record production houses Emperor Entertainment Group and Emperor Movie Group. Yeung and 24 others have been released on bail.

“TVB will provide full cooperation with ICAC on the matter and has no comments to add at this point in time,” the broadcaster said.

Mak won the best interpretation prize at TVB’s Solid Gold Awards in January, despite being booed by the audience.

Hong Kong’s tabloids have frequently questioned the abilities of the singer, who is the son of CCT Telecom chairman Clement Mak, who was also arrested.

A further 29 people have been questioned in connection with the probe. They are thought to include singers Nicholas Tse, Eason Chan, Yumiko Cheng and Joey Yung, all of whom are represented by the Emporer label.

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