Lu Fanxi, former vice president of Chinese streaming platform Youku Tudou and general manager of Youku Original, has been detained by local police on charges of corruption.
Lu produced highly popular content, including the Little Apple (Xiao Pingguo) pop song, sung by the Chopstick Brothers, which was used as the theme song to Youku Tudou’s 2014 movie Old Boys: The Way of the Dragon. The music video for the song became a viral sensation and was even used by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as a recruiting video.
Youku Tudou’s film division, Heyi Film, circulated a letter to employees explaining that charges against Lu stem from an internal audit of the company’s finances that “found some points of serious suspicion in certain production projects”.
“From the information we have now, we know that former employee Lu Fanxi is suspected of exploiting his position to take illegal and criminal activities,” the letter said.
The embattled executive left Youku Tudou last July before the company was acquired by ecommerce giant Alibaba. A source close to Lu’s case told the UK’s Financial Times that he is believed to have paid kickbacks to companies he contracted on several productions.
Several Chinese film and internet executives have been detained by police as part of the country’s on-going clampdown on corruption. Earlier this year, Alibaba Pictures revealed that it had removed group digital content chief, Patrick Liu Chunning, who has been in police custody since July 2015, assisting with a corruption investigation related to his time working at Tencent Holdings.