China strengthens action against telecommunications fraud

The past few months have witnessed the rise of a strengthened anti-telecommunication fraud force throughout Mainland China.

The efforts are geared to addressing the worrying situation of suspects swindling millions of RMB from innocent people in Mainland China by telephone, internet or other telecommunication channels.   In response, local governments in Shanghai, Shenzhen and other major cities and provinces have established centralised anti-telecommunication fraud platforms.

This post was written by Harry Liu, Partner, Shanghai

How do these platforms work?

The anti-telecommunication fraud platforms usually serve as a special division within the Police administration.  They connect directly with banks, telecommunication service providers and third party payment agents, such as Alipay.

Once a report is received from an aggrieved person, the platform will immediately notify the relevant parties (bank, service provider, payment agent etc) to freeze the money.  The obvous upside for the aggrieved is that it saves time, complexity and expense, running against clock, through the processes applicable within each separate entity.

In Shanghai alone, the platform has so far frozen around RMB70 million (around 10.5 million USD) during past months.

A national platform on the way?

Meng Jianzhu, the Secretary of the Political and Judiciary Commission under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, has recently indicated that China needed a State-level platform to further facilitate the anti-telecommunication fraud measures.   Watch this space.

International cooperation

Apart from the domestic initiatives described above, Mainland China has also cooperated with police overseas including in Kenya, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia to investigate and act against telecommunication fraud gangs, with successful arrests of thousands of suspects.

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