BEIJING — Condé Nast China has issued a statement dismissing corruption allegations against Paco Tang, the company’s group publisher, after reports of Tang’s alleged misconduct became the fourth-highest trending topic on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, on Monday.
The report stemmed from an anonymous e-mail sent to senior Condé Nast China staff, also copying in a number of luxury brand China heads, alleging kickbacks and embezzlement. When reached by WWD, Tang declined to comment.
“As a leading international media brand, Condé Nast has always advocated a bright corporate culture, and abided by Chinese laws and regulations,” the company said in a statement. “At the same time, we oppose any form of anonymous slander, defamation and personal attacks. The anonymous complainant has not yet been able to provide any evidence. Our company has not found any violations by Paco Tang. Based on the lack of specific evidence, our company will retain all legal prosecution rights for such acts.”
The e-mail sender claimed to be an employee of the company and alleged that Tang handed out contracts for events organized by GQ China and Vogue China to Tang’s own agency set up with his partner, Li Fan, creating a conflict of interest and violating Chinese law.
The sender also alleged that Tang embezzled 7 million to 10 million renminbi, or $983,000 to $1.4 million at current exchange, from the company, and further threatened to send the documentation to Condé Nast International chairman Jonathan Newhouse and chief executive officer Roger Lynch, and publish them on Chinese social media platforms, should Tang refuse to resign.
Tang, 35, was promoted to become the first group publisher of Condé Nast China last June, after a successful run at GQ China and Condé Nast Traveller China. Under his leadership, GQ China became the fastest-growing title in the group, also developing an immensely popular WeChat channel GQ Lab.