Suspects "blackmail companies to go listed"

Companies complied to the suspects' accusations of infringement of intellectual property rights for fear that they could affect their effort to be listed.

Four suspects are facing charges of blackmailing a company ahead of its listing on the stock market, Shanghai police said over the weekend.

The suspects allegedly filed “malicious lawsuits” against the company as it prepared for a public listing last year. The suspects were also said to have made “malicious complaints” about the company to securities regulators.

The company in question allegedly paid 1.6 million yuan (US$236,000) to the suspects to keep quiet about the case and the complaints, for fear that these would endanger its listing plans, police said.

Police added that one of the suspects also made 550,000 yuan from blackmailing three other companies between 2015 and 2017.

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