BERLIN—German Chancellor Angela Merkel promoted Wirecard AG to Chinese officials last fall, even though her top aides were aware of probes into possible irregularities at the now insolvent German company, government officials said Wednesday, in the latest sign of the scandal spilling over into German politics.

Ms. Merkel brought up Wirecard’s plans to acquire Beijing-based AllScore Payments Systems during a state visit to China in early September 2019, according to her spokesman. Two months after her visit, Wirecard announced…

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