A former Chinese executive of Walt Disney Co. has links to a Hong Kong firm that used Disney’s brand for a project in China without approval, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Meng Dekai, who served as director of international special projects at Disney in China, has ties with DeeMagic International Culture Ltd., a Hong Kong-registered firm that was involved in a Chinese park project branded as a Disney facility, according to the report.
Meng left Disney after the company launched an investigation in response to a report last month by the Chinese news website The Paper.
The news website alleged that DeeMagic was involved in a park project in Henan province branded as a Disney facility, even though it lacked the US company’s permission.
According to the Journal, corporate records confirm Meng’s ties with DeeMagic.
The paper cited a Disney spokeswoman as saying that the US firm had signed a preliminary pact in November 2015 with Henan province under which DeeMagic was given a “limited consumer-product license agreement”.
Disney policy “prohibits employees from entering into business arrangements without prior approval. We were not advised of any relationship between an employee and DeeMagic,” the spokeswoman said.
“We are continuing to investigate the situation thoroughly and are taking appropriate action as we continue this process.”
Meng is linked to more than 20 companies in China and Hong Kong, many of which share the first part of the name “Disney” in Chinese, the Journal said, citing corporate-records searches.
Among the firms is DeeMagic, which signed an agreement with Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, for a Disney-branded project.
Meng is linked to DeeMagic through Lin Yu, a director at DeeMagic who is also an employee at two Chinese firms where Meng is listed as executive director, including the similar sounding DeeMagic International Culture Development, the report said.
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