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China is warning telecom companies that are based overseas not to wield “new technologies” — digital assets, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and the metaverse — for nefarious purposes.
According to Global Times, citing a statement from the Chinese Central Political and Legal Committee, “entities operating from outside China have been using deceptive tactics such as posing as lucrative job opportunities to recruit unsuspecting victims.”
“From the perspective of fraud methods, fraud groups use blockchain, metaverse, virtual currency, AI intelligence and other new technologies and new formats to continuously update criminal tools, which are more concealed and confusing,” the committee stated. “This requires the public security, finance, telecommunications, Internet and other departments to work together, apply advanced technical means, and fulfill the responsibility of the main body of supervision.”
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The committee pledges to “severely crack down,” increase public awareness and bolster judicial departments to detect and prevent illegal activities by foreign companies.
It did not name which companies or groups it was referring to.
The Intermediate People’s Court of Xuzhou, East China’s Jiangsu Province, is reportedly focusing on 52 telecom network fraud cases. A total of 85 defendants were recently sentenced.
The announcement coincides with what seemingly appears to be an about-face on the part of China when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Hong Kong, for example, is now allowing retail investors to buy bitcoin (BTC). This move, observers note, could be a sign that China is warming up to crypto trading once again.
Recall how China had once been a leader in cryptocurrency adoption and mining. But in 2017, it gradually started banning cryptocurrency mining operations and trading in general, stating that it no longer views digital coins as legal tender. Major cryptocurrency-related websites, including CoinGecko, TradingView, and CoinMarketCap, were blocked through China’s internet firewall.
Hong Kong set to offer retail crypto trading licenses soon
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