(ECNS) - Police in South China's Shenzhen city say Patrick Liu Chunning, president of Alibaba's digital entertainment arm, has been detained in a corruption case related to his previous employer Tencent, which has denied foul play against its competitor Alibaba.
Tencent, China's largest Internet company, said in a statement that Liu is one of "five or six" former and current employees suspected of bribery and corruption uncovered during an internal audit.
Before coming to Alibaba, Liu was vice president in charge of digital entertainment at Tencent.
Police have found that Tencent employees colluded with video content providers to set higher purchase prices.
Alibaba has confirmed in a statement that Liu's detainment is related to his time at Tencent and has nothing to do with Alibaba.
Alibaba also said it will provide Liu with legal aid and support. The statement concludes by saying "young people have no right to break the law. Young people always make mistakes, and they need to accept the consequences of those mistakes."
In response to Alibaba's statement, Tencent said "it's far beyond the red line of making a mistake. It's against the law, and should not be tolerated."
Tencent has denied that it reported Liu's case to police as revenge against Alibaba. The Internet giant says the case has been exposed now only because police need time to investigate.
Shenzhen police say the investigation is still underway.
Liu, 39, worked for Tencent for 10 years. After quitting the company, Tencent filed a lawsuit against him in January 2014 and demanded that he pay a high return on equity, estimated to be in the tens of millions of yuan, the National Business Daily reported.
IT expert Hong Bo says it's almost inevitable that streaming websites will suffer from corruption, as kickbacks plague the process of purchasing intellectual copyright. He also says that both Alibaba and Tencent have launched internal anti-corruption measures.