Alibaba to Give Legal Support as Unit’s President Held by Police

Alibaba's Patrick Liu.

Alibaba's Patrick Liu.

Source: Corbis

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will provide legal support to Patrick Liu, president of its digital entertainment unit, after he was taken into police custody.

Alibaba has also ensured Liu’s absence will not affect Alibaba Pictures’ business, the Hangzhou, China-based company said in a statement on its microblog on Friday.

Liu’s arrest on Thursday had nothing to do with his role at Alibaba, the company said on Thursday. The executive had been a vice president at China-based Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd., which won a lawsuit against Liu in a non-compete case when he left to join Alibaba in 2013.

Liu is also an executive director of Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd.

In an e-mailed response to questions about Liu, Tencent said five or six former employees have been detained by police since 2014, without identifying the detainees.

Liu didn’t respond to two e-mails seeking comment.

Alibaba Pictures, which has been expanding in the movie industry, rose 6 percent to HK$2.48 at the midday break in Hong Kong trading. The shares surged as much as 21 percent earlier on Friday. China’s stocks gained after the government took steps to shore up investor confidence to stem an equity rout.

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