An executive at Tencent Holdings Ltd., China’s most valuable publicly traded company, has been detained by Chinese authorities as part of an investigation into a high-profile corruption case involving one of the former senior law enforcement officials. from China, people familiar with the matter said.
Zhang Feng has been investigated by China’s anti-bribery inspector since early last year for alleged unauthorized sharing of personal data collected by Tencent’s WeChat social media app, the people said. They said Zhang was suspected of having turned over WeChat data to former Deputy Minister of Public Security Sun Lijun, who is being investigated by Beijing for undisclosed violations of Communist Party rules.
Researchers are looking at what kind of data Zhang could have allegedly shared with Sun and what Sun could have done with it, the people said.
Zhang was mentioned as a vice president of Tencent in a statement issued by the municipal government of Zhangjiakou, a city near Beijing, in which it was described that he had met with the city’s mayor in October 2018.
Tencent said that Mr. Zhang never held a senior executive position in the company or a managerial position.