And then they came for the tech research executives

Newsletter

TechNode reports that the “disappearance of high-level officers at China’s leading research, statistics, and consulting group iResearch is causing a stir on Chinese social media.”

  • Company president Henry Yang (Yang Weiqing 杨伟庆) and Chief Technical Officer Jason Hao (Hao Xincheng 郝欣诚) are apparently incommunicado.
  • iResearch responded to the social media rumors with an announcement that “some managing officers” are “assisting investigation performed by some relevant departments” but that the company is operating normally.
  • A possible reason for the disappearance of the executives cited by TechNode — “recent concerns about fabricating market data, especially in TV ratings.”

I would add that many tech firms use iResearch data in their pitch materials to attract investment, and in their prospectuses and IPO filings. I imagine there’s a lot government investigators could potentially ask Yang and Hao about.

A final point: Like the disappearance of actress Fan Bingbing 范冰冰, there is no official explanation for Yang and Hao’s absence. They’ve simply vanished from public view without a word.