The exec of the Chinese e-commerce giant was detained over issues stemming from his time as vice president in charge of digital entertainment at Tencent, the Chinese company behind popular apps.
“We understand that Patrick Liu with our digital entertainment unit has been detained by the authorities,” an Alibaba spokesman said in a statement to Variety. “This issue is related to his time at Tencent and has nothing to do with Alibaba.”
Alibaba is currently seeking a greater role in Hollywood film finance. Liu announced last month that the company is going to use the crowdfunding platform Yule Bao to let Chinese investors back U.S. films.
Alibaba also announced last month that it would be launching Tmall Box Office, an online streaming service that will likely be accessed through its set top boxes. Alibaba already has multiple entertainment interests including investment stakes in streaming service Youku Tudou, Internet TV group Wasu Media and smaller holdings in Huayi Brothers and Enlight Media.
Liu is also a board member of Alibaba Pictures Group, a Hong Kong-listed film production and investment company in which Alibaba holds a majority stake.