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February 18, 2021

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Luckin CEO cleared of misconduct

CHINESE coffee chain Luckin Coffee said yesterday its board had found no evidence of misconduct by Chief Executive Guo Jinyi during a monthlong investigation into allegations made by some employees.

Guo, who took over after the competitor to Starbucks ousted co-founder and chairman Charles Zhengyao amid an internal fraud investigation, had denied the allegations.

The coffee chain’s explosive growth was halted last year by an investigation into its accounts for overstating 2019 revenue and understating net loss.

This resulted in a penalty of US$180 million to settle the fraud charges and the company seeking bankruptcy protection.

The latest investigation found that some members of the company’s former management had participated in the planning of the petition letter sent to the board on January 4.

Luckin said the special panel of the board reviewed more than 50,000 transaction documents, emails and other documents, and interviewed nearly 40 individuals — external parties and staff.




 

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