A screen grab shows Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, paying an inspection to IT company Tencent in Shenzhen, Guangdong province on December 7, 2012. [Photo: qq.com]
The CEO of China's Internet giant Tencent has denied media reports claiming that the company gave Chinese leader Xi Jinping an instant messenger account as a gift.
In a panel discussion with local lawmakers in Shenzhen Wednesday, where Tencent is based, Ma Huateng said the IT company did not provide gifts or red carpet service during Xi's inspection in response to the central government's call to reduce bureaucracy and extravagance.
In December 2012, Xi, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, paid an inspection tour to the southern province of Guangdong, China's trailblazer of reform and opening up since the late 1970s.
The inspection tour was the first of its kind by Xi after he took helm of China's ruling party in November last year. On December 7, the new party leader visited Tencent and was briefed by company executives' on the state of Internet development in China.
Founded in 1998, Tencent is so far one of the largest Internet service providers in China. Its online portal (qq.com) is popular among Chinese netizens and its online instant-messaging software QQ is a major rival to Microsoft's MSN.