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China starts 3-month campaign against pyramid schemes

Updated: Aug 15,2017 5:22 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will start a three-month crackdown on pyramid selling following the death of a university graduate who fell prey to a pyramid scheme.

From Aug 15, pyramid organizations disguised as recruitment agencies will be the main target, according to a notice released by four government agencies, including the State Administration for Industry & Commerce and the Ministry of Public Security.

The move came following the death of Li Wenxing, a 23-year-old university graduate who got involved in a pyramid scheme through an online recruitment site and was found drowned in Tianjin, sparking nationwide rage against pyramid sellers.

Pyramid schemes expanded widely through social networks in recent years. Police investigated 2,826 cases in 2016, 19.1 percent more than that in 2015.

From 2005 to 2015, 21,904 pyramid schemes were investigated and 990 million yuan ($148 million) recovered.