The Chinese company Tencent has become one of the most important global players in the game industry thanks to its stakes in developer studios such as Epic Games and Riot Games – and fell for fraudsters who were targeting game codes for resale. That reports the magazine The E-Sports Observer, other sources confirm the story.
The fraudsters are said to have pretended to be employees of the Chinese sauce company Lao Gan Ma in April 2019 and negotiated a contract with Tencent. It was about advertising a Lao Gan Ma chili sauce (also available here) in a racing game called QQ Speed S.
While this is virtually unknown in the West – but relatively popular in Asia, Tencent regularly holds the title of e-sports tournaments.
Tencent is said to have displayed the logo of Lao Gan Ma in the official video broadcasts and produced all kinds of advertising materials, which, in addition to the logo of the racing game, also have the logo of Lao Gan Ma printed on them. Above all, Tencent generously provided the supposed contractual partners with codes for QQ Speed S.
This is what the fraudsters are supposed to be aiming for: Such keys can be converted into money relatively easily via resellers. According to E-Sports Observer, the matter was not exposed until the end of June 2020, when Tencent wanted the money for all the activities. Converted, the bill is said to be around $ 2.3 million.
The management of Lao Gan Ma is said to have known nothing about the matter, so the payment was refused. A little later, Tencent is said to have filed a lawsuit against the sauce manufacturer before a court in Shenzhen.
In the meantime, three fraudsters are said to have been arrested. The case has apparently received a lot of attention in China. In a video published on the video portal Bilibili, Tencent is said to have even ironically teased each other.