DouYu CEO Chen Shaojie arrested on suspicion of operating illegal casino

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22nd November 2023 – (Chengdu) Chengdu police have announced the arrest of a 39-year-old man named Chen, suspected of running an illicit casino, according to an official notice released on Wednesday. The individual, identified as Chen Moujie in the notice, has been apprehended in accordance with the law, and an ongoing investigation is underway. It is common practice in China to partially anonymize suspects’ names by using the term “mou.”

DouYu International, the streaming platform operator, confirmed on Tuesday that their CEO, Chen Shaojie, had been arrested by Chengdu police on November 16. However, the company stated that it had not received any official notification regarding an investigation or the reason for Chen’s arrest. Following this announcement, DouYu’s shares experienced a 6% decline. The company has not yet provided a response to requests for comment as of Wednesday.

Both Xinhua, a state media outlet, and local publication reported that the police statement referred to the arrest of Chen Shaojie.

When contacted for additional information, the Chengdu police declined to comment further, referring back to their original statement.

Chen, who founded DouYu in 2014, successfully transformed the company into China’s leading video game streaming platform in terms of user base. Under his leadership, DouYu flourished, attracting a significant number of users.

In 2020, Tencent proposed a merger between DouYu and its competitor Huya, another platform controlled by Tencent. The merger aimed to create a streaming giant worth $10 billion to rival Amazon’s Twitch in the United States. However, the deal was blocked in 2021 due to antitrust concerns.