The world’s largest video game company dismisses over 120 employees due to allegations of fraud

Chinese tech giant Tencent reported last year that it terminated over 120 employees for breaching its anti-fraud regulations, which included instances of corruption and embezzlement.

Listed in Hong Kong, Tencent is renowned as the world’s leading video game developer and the proprietor of the widely-used super-app WeChat, found on nearly every mobile device in China.

According to state media reports, Tencent’s founder Pony Ma expressed shock at the extent of corruption within the company in 2022. Consequently, the firm pledged to take decisive action.

Tencent disclosed that over 70 violations of its code of conduct were reported last year. As a result, more than 120 individuals were dismissed from the company, and nearly 20 cases were reported to authorities, as stated in a release on Friday.

Among the terminated employees were members of Tencent’s PCG division, responsible for content broadcasting such as news, sports, and films. Additionally, some worked in the company’s medical services sector, where Tencent’s telemedicine applications dominate the Chinese market.

One employee implicated by Tencent received a four-year prison sentence and a 100,000 yuan ($14,000) fine, according to the press release.

These developments follow years of challenges for China’s technology giants. Following a period of rapid expansion, the sector faced a comprehensive regulatory crackdown initiated by Chinese authorities in late 2020. Consequently, significant market capitalization losses occurred, and the profits of prominent internet firms plummeted.

Tencent, with a current workforce of slightly over 100,000 employees, was not immune to these effects. Furthermore, restrictions on online gaming hours for individuals under 18 adversely impacted the group’s profitability.

In response, Tencent is seeking opportunities abroad, particularly in Europe, where it is bolstering its presence by acquiring stakes in major gaming studios.

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