China Tightens Checks on Financial Transactions in War Against Online Gambling

  • China UnionPay put forward new transaction criteria to weed out suspicious payments
  • This comes after Minister of Public Security wagered war against criminal organizations 
  • Corporation will take legal action against anyone making unauthorized use of its services
  • Measure accompanies proposed online blacklist and Philippines partnership to combat gambling 
stethoscope placed against stack of credit cards
Financial transactions will undergo stricter scrutiny as part of China’s latest efforts to crack down on online gambling activity. [Image:]

Addressing the financial footprint

As part of measures announced last month by China to tackle online gambling, the country now plans to tackle cross-border gangs through increased scrutiny of their financial footprint.

new transaction criteria to weed out any suspicious payments

Chinese financial services corporation UnionPay appeared on board yesterday. It admitted in a statement that some of its partners were not doing all they could to stop illegal trading activities. In response, the firm has put forward new transaction criteria to weed out any suspicious payments.

Gambling platforms are currently illegal in China, except in the territory of Macau. The state-run lottery in the country is legal but has been currently suspended over the coronavirus threat.

UnionPay will expose illegal gambling transactions

At a meeting last week, the Minister of Public Security, Zhao Kezhi, announced that he wanted to “completely destroy groups of criminal organizations.”

Now, UnionPay has warned it will “standardize the display of transaction information” to track anyone who’s either gambling or paying gambling brands with false names or transaction details. In its announcement, the corporation spoke of recognizing dodgy loan arrangements and other “illegal public merchants.” It has said it will take legal measures against any unauthorized use of the UnionPay service.

China UnionPay is currently the world’s biggest card issuer.

Ministry’s attempts to stop illegal gambling

China’s Ministry of Public Security is also standing firm against gambling initiatives. January saw the first Gambling Prohibition Publicity Month, with 13 online gambling sites blocked since.

A national online blacklist system of companies and employees was also announced last week as an anti-gambling measure. It came alongside a partnership with the Philippines to stamp out illegal gambling. The joining of forces goes some way towards repairing the relationship between the two countries after the Philippines refused to block online illegal gambling sites last year.

The unwillingness to comply was mainly in view of revenue received by Chinese nationals who worked for online gambling operators in the Philippines. However, following a disagreement over workers not paying adequate taxes, the two nations seem to have come to an agreement to join forces in clamping down on illegal gambling companies.

Governance measures to be strengthened

The ministry will now investigate “a number of major cases” where Chinese customers have worked with internationally based gambling operators.

Minister Kezhi has said he wants to “strengthen the ‘fund chain’ and ‘technical chain’ governance measures”, which would allow him to stop gambling funds from circulating.

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