Zhang Feng, an executive at China’s most valuable public company Tencent Holdings, has been detained by authorities in connection to a data leak and corruption scandal.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Zhang is accused of sending user data from the messaging app juggernaut WeChat to Sun Lijun, the former vice public security minister now under investigation for unspecified violations against the CCP.

Zhang has been under investigation for the better part of a year as investigators learn what data he shared and how it was used. Tencent confirmed that Zhang was under investigation but tried to distance him from its services.

“[The case] relates to allegations of personal corruption and has no relation to WeChat or Weixin,” said a statement to The Wall Street Journal, referencing Tencent’s major Chinese messaging app.

Tencent also disagreed with a characterization from the municipal government of the city Zhangjiakou that called Zhang a “vice president,” stating the Zhang had never held a senior position or managerial post at the company.

Chinese internet giant Tencent reported a rise in revenues, pointing to growth in smartphone games Chinese internet giant Tencent reported a rise in revenues, pointing to growth in smartphone games Photo: AFP / PHILIPPE LOPEZ

Much of the investigation is still under wraps. Zhang could not be located to request comment, and Sun did not respond when the Journal reached out. Tencent’s founder and chief executive Pony Ma has been keeping a low profile in Hong Kong, though he’s not been accused of anything.

The revelation of Zhang’s detainment is just the latest example of a widening split between China’s governing communist party and the nation’s rapidly developing corporate interests.

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