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China begins campaign to eliminate online pyramid schemes

Updated: Jan 20,2018 4:11 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese police will work with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce in a campaign to eliminate online pyramid schemes, according to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

The campaign will focus on four types of pyramid schemes, including those that are disguised as rebates, online games, charity or poverty relief which deliberately distort government policies in these areas.

Online pyramid schemes that target vulnerable groups, such as students, the disabled or lower income residents, as well as schemes involving cross-border operations will also receive more attention, the statement said.

The campaign aims to investigate and punish key members of pyramid scheme groups, “professional” participants, those who help transfer the money, and those in charge of the websites.

It will run alongside another campaign targeted at eliminating disorder on the internet, strengthening online supervision, and promoting an online community free of pyramid schemes, according to the MPS.

Despite progress in recent years, pyramid schemes, especially those online, remain an issue in China, causing massive financial losses, twisting the values of participants and harming the social credit system, the MPS said at a meeting on Jan 18.

Some such schemes distort the country’s economic policies and reform measures to mislead people into taking part, disturbing economic order and damaging the interests of the public, the ministry added.

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