China online gambling crackdown hits major credit card firm

China police crackdown online gambling

China’s government police raid major credit card firm linked to online gambling, according to local media.

China.- Chinese media reported that around 100 police officers staged a raid on the Hangzhou offices of 51 Credit Card. The Hong-Kong-Listed investment holding company claims to be China’s largest credit card bill management service with over 83 million users.

Media reports have cited a variety of reasons that may be behind the raid, including improper use of customer data. However, the Sina financial media outlet reported the raid was the result of allegations that the company was involved in processing payments for internationally licensed online gambling operators.

Lately, China has ramped up its anti-online gambling; praising Cambodia’s August announcement that the country would wind down its local online gambling operations by the end of the year.

China has called on other nations to follow Cambodia’s lead. It is now increasingly partnering with other Asia-Pacific nations’ law enforcement to target China-facing online gambling sites.

China has also publicly declared its willingness to take stronger measures to combat so-called underground banking.

Also, in March, China’s central bank issued a statement warning its financial institutions to step up their merchant verification protocols. The idea was to ensure companies were not hiding payments to forbidden internet sites.

Furthermore, news of the raid sent 51 Credit Card’s share price down over one-third on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Shortly after, the company suspended its trading.

Finally, the company made its HKSE debut in July 2018; Investors have had little reason to complain as the company posted double-digit profit gains this year.

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