Weibo's PR Director Arrested for Suspected Bribery

Another scandal erupts on the Chinese stocks scene.
Aug. 10, 2021 19:31
Weibo's PR Director Arrested for Suspected Bribery

Correction: The incident at Weibo is not connected to Alibaba's recent firing of a manager.

News spread across media platforms Tuesday that a public relations director at Weibo Corp. (Nasdaq: WB) is under investigation for suspected bribery and has been fired.

Luckily for Weibo, China's version of Twitter, investors didn't take the news with too much angst. WB stock was down just about 1% intraday Tuesday, at $55.47 per share. Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA; HKEX: 9988, which owns a stake in the social media platform, was not affected in the markets: BABA shares were trading slightly higher Tuesday, at $196.20 per share, after Monday's drop.

As reported by Reuters, the top executive at Weibo, named Taotao Mao, has been arrested. Weibo said in an internal memo that Mao had "seriously harmed the interests of the company" and will not be re-hired. Mao has been with Weibo since 2010, having started

The incident at Weibo follows the one at Alibaba earlier this week. On Monday, news of bad handling of a suspected sexual assault case at one of its neighborhood delivery stores sent Alibaba in the red following days of recovery. For now, it seems, the e-commerce giant is back up in the green – and investors hope it's for good after all the obstacles Alibaba has faced this year.

Weibo prepares to release its second quarter financial results on Aug. 18.

Weibo's parent, Sina Corp., accepted a buyout offer and delisted from Nasdaq in the first quarter. In early July, news surfaced that Weibo was considering the same – however, the chairman of the company, Charles Chao, officially denied the rumors.

Weibo, WB, Alibaba