Trial of former Alibaba and former Tencent executive Patrick Liu Chunning has begun in the Nanshan district of Shenzhen. The court session got under way on Thursday (April 21).
Prosecutors accuse him of accepting $330,000 (RMB2.14 million) in bribes while he was working at Tencent Video. Liu has denied all the charges.
Prosecutors presented evidence of two alleged occasions on which Liu accepted money from supplier companies whose content Tencent licensed for distribution. According to the Caixin news site Liu says he has been “falsely charged and framed.”
In August 2012, Dongyan Herun Film and Television is said to have paid $220,000 (RMB1.44 million) to Liu, through the bank account of Liu’s cousin. Prosecutors also detailed a January 2013 dinner with an executive from Shanghai Youhug Media, which had sold two TV series to Tencent. They allege that a suitcase with $108,000 (RMB700,000) in cash was handed over.
Liu’s lawyers said the case will influence the relationship between Tencent and Alibaba. The two are China’s two largest Internet giants with massive empires of overlapping and competing businesses that stretch from taxi hailing, to online video and film production.
“The two companies should “take a correct view of competition and talent flow” and Tencent should “give Liu a chance to explain,” one of (Liu’s lawyers) said,” Caixin reports.
Liu was detained by police in July last year at a time when he had moved to Alibaba. In January he was formally dismissed by Alibaba Pictures Group, having not attended board meetings.
Trials in China rarely last more than a few days. But delivering a verdict can take longer.