China social media platforms heed gambling crackdown call

Chinese social media giants are set to crack down harder on illegal online gambling in 2020 following a directive from their government earlier in the week. 

On Tuesday, Sina Weibo issued a statement detailing its efforts in cracking down on the illegal activity over the past year, and their intentions to increase their efforts in the coming year. 

Weibo said it found 6.4 million illicit gambling advertisements in just the second half of 2019 and closed more than 3 million accounts found to be involved in gambling.

Weibo’s message came only 24 hours after China’s Public Security Ministry announced plans to increase and widen its efforts to combat illegal, cross-border online gambling in the country. 

It also comes just ahead of Chinese New Year, when the sending of digital red packets to celebrate the new year becomes commonplace.
Figures released by the government show that in 2019, authorities found more than 7,200 criminal cases of online gambling, arrested 25,000 people, and seized or froze over RMB18 billion (US$2.6 billion in gambling-related funds.