China is cautioning foreign-based telecom companies against utilizing “new technologies” such as digital assets, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and the metaverse for malicious purposes. The Chinese Central Political and Legal Committee revealed that entities operating from outside China have been using deceptive tactics, like posing as attractive job opportunities to recruit unsuspecting victims.
The committee emphasized that fraud groups continuously update their criminal tools using technologies like blockchain, metaverse, virtual currency, and AI, making their activities more concealed and confusing. To address this issue, the committee calls for collaboration among public security, finance, telecommunications, and internet departments, employing advanced technical means to fulfill their supervisory responsibilities.
The committee vows to take strong measures to crack down on illegal activities by foreign companies, raise public awareness, and enhance judicial efforts to detect and prevent such behavior. While the statement does not name specific companies or groups, the Intermediate People’s Court of Xuzhou, in East China’s Jiangsu Province, is reportedly focusing on 52 telecom network fraud cases with 85 defendants recently sentenced.
Interestingly, this announcement coincides with what appears to be a change in China’s stance on cryptocurrencies. Hong Kong, for instance, is now permitting retail investors to buy bitcoin (BTC), suggesting that China might be warming up to crypto trading again. It’s worth noting that in the past, China was a prominent player in cryptocurrency adoption and mining, but in 2017, it began gradually banning these activities, stating that digital coins were no longer considered legal tender. Additionally, major cryptocurrency-related websites were blocked in China through the country’s internet firewall.