Local authorities said investigation of the case surrounding the arrested man, whose first name contains the word “jie”, was ongoing. No further details were given.
While Douyu also said operations remain normal, it warned investors that the ongoing detention and subsequent legal process could have a “material adverse impact” on the company’s reputation and operations in the future.
The board and management are working on contingency plans in response to Chen’s arrest and related investigations, it added.
Chinese media The Paper reported on Tuesday that Chen’s arrest was likely to be related to gambling activities, which are illegal in the mainland. Citing anonymous sources, The Paper reported that Chen’s gambling experience went back more than a decade.
Chen was born in 1984 in eastern Shandong province. One of his early ventures was a video gaming platform called Zhangmenren, which was acquired by Shanghai-based Shenda Games in 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the chief executive of Acfun, a video-sharing platform similar to Bilibili targeting Millennials. During that stint, Chen set up a live-streaming business within the platform, which later spun off to become Douyu.
The executive’s last public appearance was in August for Douyu’s second-quarter earnings call, when he said the company had “evaluated the awareness of content management and regulatory guidelines” and “optimised the healthy system of our game-centric community”.
Douyu raised US$775 million from its initial public offering in New York in July 2019. Shares of the company tumbled 5.9 per cent and closed at US$0.91 on November 21.
In May, the agency said it deployed a working group from its local arm in central Hubei province, based in Douyu’s home city of Wuhan, to address “serious” problems related to the platform, including pornographic and vulgar content. The working group was stationed at the company for a month to supervise its “rectification” process.
Douyu said in its latest statement that the company “remains committed to upholding regulatory compliance on its platform”.