Tencent suspends 10,000 accounts in massive online gambling crackdown

Internet giant Tencent announced on Monday a roll-out of an anti-online gambling campaign. Tencent has its own professional team set up, as well as planned future cooperation with the police. Up until now, over 10,000 accounts engaged in gambling have been restricted.

One major form of online gambling is the “webification” of traditional gambling, where players bet on the random number of an online red envelope.

Another port for online gambling is the gaming platform. The manager in charge of Tencent’s campaign gave an example of the card game Tiantian Dezhou, literally translated as “Everday Texas Hold’em poker”. Apparently, criminals would steal virtual currency by hijacking accounts or developing cheating plug-ins to their favor, before tricking players into the two-way trading of virtual currency and real money. Since last August, 2013 accounts of the game have been frozen for a term of 10 years.

The manager of the campaign also said that Tencent will screen the whole platform and work to achieve the intelligent identification of features related to online gambling. Severe crimes will be handed to the police. The campaign has cooperated with the police on 14 cases since 2015, and 129 people have been arrested.

To date, more than 16,500 chatting groups on WeChat and QQ have been restricted for being involved with online gambling, and over 10,000 social accounts have been restricted from making online payments and money transfers.

Tencent has introduced different reporting channels for netizens to participate, including a reporting page on all Tencent’s products, the customer service platform http://kf.qq.com, and the link http://110.qq.com.

Online gambling already has a history in China. In 2013, there was a case involving RMB 484 billion (USD 73.57 billion).

On the other hand, tech giants including LeEco and Alibaba are investing heavily in online lottery businesses, yet the government has suspended online lotteries since last February.

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