Premier League Club Arsenal using a Chinese survey, after having been potentially caught up in a fraud around its sponsorship contract with the automaker BYD.
“We are studying the situation and discuss with high-level BYD representatives… involved in the launch of this partnership,” he said.
A woman has been arrested by Shanghai police on suspicion of fraud and the counterfeiting of seals of the company, BYD said.
BYD is one of China’s biggest automotive manufacturers and is a producer of electric vehicles.
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BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, designs, develops, manufactures and distributes cars, buses, commercial vehicles and rail stock.
Arsenal-BYD partnership was announced to much fanfare, in April of this year, with the club saying that it had reached an agreement with “the world’s best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer”.
In the context of the case, BYD will receive pitch side of the LED display and branding on the dugout seats at the Emirates Stadium. It would also have access to the Arsenal Legends special for promotional events in China.
BYD said last week that a woman posing as the director of marketing for its Shanghai branch has signed several contracts with advertising agencies for the promotion of the company.
“BYD has informed Arsenal that they believe that they have been the victim of a fraud compared to different advertising agreements,” Arsenal said in a statement on its Chinese site. It has not given details on the allegations of fraud or of any impact that this may have on his sponsorship contract.
The individual at the centre of the allegations has never been an employee, nor been given permission to conduct business on its behalf, Shenzhen-based BYD said in a statement to the stock exchange of Hong Kong.