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China's Tencent fires 70 staff, blacklists 13 firms in anti-graft campaign

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Logo of Tencent is seen at Tencent office in Shanghai
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Tencent Holdings, China's biggest social media and video games company, on Tuesday said it fired nearly 70 staff over bribery and embezzlement incidents last year and named 13 companies it had blacklisted from future contracts.

Tencent said in a social media post that it had also reported more than 10 people to authorities over their actions.

As the Chinese government has intensified a crackdown on corruption in recent years, tech companies have doubled down on their own investigations into irregularities as their valuations and profiles have soared following the country's tech boom.

Tencent started its anti-graft campaign in 2019 and has been regularly reporting the results of its probes.

In 2021, one case involved a former employee from its digital music department asking for and getting favours from its suppliers, Tencent said. Another involved a sports content staffer profiting from using a company he controlled to enter a deal with Tencent, the company added.

Beijing, which has since last year reasserted control over its once-freewheeling internet sector through a wide-ranging regulatory crackdown, said last week it would investigate and punish any corrupt behaviour found behind internet platform monopolies.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)