China Cracks Down on Over 42,000 Counterfeit Investment Apps to Combat Telecom Network Crime

China’s cyberspace regulator said on Friday that it has cracked down on counterfeit investment platforms, as part of the country’s campaign to combat such telecom network crime.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said it has investigated and cracked down on some 42,000 counterfeit apps since the start of this year, and incorporated them into the national fraud-related database, according to a statement on its website.

The regulator added it found multiple cases involving website spoofing as scammers created fraudulent investment platforms by mimicking some popular tech companies including JD Finance, the fintech arm of e-commerce giant

“App stores and other platforms should also strengthen the security scrutiny of App download to prevent fake Apps from fishing in troubled water to harm internet users,” CAC said.

State media reported in April that the number of telecom fraud cases in China had declined for nine consecutive months starting June 2021.

In December 2021, the CAC announced a two-month special operation to scrutinise online platforms such as social media networks and video-sharing sites to clamp down on fake accounts and information as part of its drive to “clean up” the Internet.

The investigation came against the backdrop of a wide-ranging crackdown by regulators on several sectors, with officials tightening oversight of companies in technology, real estate, gaming, education, cryptocurrencies, and finance. Officials would target deceptive online behaviours, ranging from boosting engagement figures to paying for fake fans and reviews, according to the regulator.

Last year, the cyberspace regulator also conducted special operations targeting celebrity fandom, minors’ usage of the Internet, and also discussions of historical events that differ from the official narrative promoted by the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

China’s State Council also published guidelines for building a “civilised” Internet in September 2021, saying the web should be used to promote education about the ruling Communist Party and its achievements.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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