Chinese online games developer Boyaa Interactive has had bank accounts holding RMB635 million (US$88.6 million) in company funds frozen by a Chinese court in the wake of its Chairman and CEO being sentenced to prison last September.
Zhang Wei was handed a 12-month jail term last year and resigned from his various senior management positions with Boyaa after the Municipal of Intermediate People’s Court found one of the company’s indirect subsidiaries, Boyaa Shenzhen, guilty of offering “bribes by entities”.
In a weekend announcement, Boyaa, which develops and operates online card games, revealed that a significant portion of the company’s idle cash reserves had been frozen due to Zhang’s prosecution for “alleged illegal activities conducted through one of the company’s onshore online gaming platforms.”
It also revealed that the RMB635 million in question could be confiscated by authorities if it is found that some or all of the relevant cash reserves were obtained via Zhang’s misconduct.
Boyaa said it had not been previously notified of the situation because the company itself was not implicated in the case. As such, “the risk that the Company, its directors and its senior management will be subject to any prosecution by the relevant PRC judicial authority in relation to the alleged crime is remote,” it said. No other detail on the case has so far been issued.
Boyaa has faced a difficult 18 months after its user base and revenue were stifled by an April 2018 crackdown on online poker applications by the Chinese government, which saw online Texas Hold’em poker games shut down and prohibited as of 1 June 2018.