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China’s Tencent Could Face Money Laundering Fine – WSJ

The PBOC uncovered violations during an inspection of WeChat Pay in late 2021. The payments network allegedly permitted the transfer and laundering of funds from illicit transactions, it said


The mobile payments network was found to have permitted the transfer and laundering of funds from illicit transactions such as gambling, the report alleged. Photo: Reuters

 

Tencent Holdings Ltd is facing a potential fine, which could be at least hundreds of millions of yuan, for violating some central bank regulations on its WeChat Pay mobile network, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Financial regulators recently found that WeChat Pay had broken China’s anti-money-laundering rules and had lapses in compliance with “know your customer” and “know your business” regulations, the Journal said.

Tencent and China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. Shares in the Chinese technology giant fell around 10% on the report.

The PBOC uncovered the violations during a routine inspection of WeChat Pay that concluded in late 2021, according to the Journal.

The mobile payments network was also found to have permitted the transfer and laundering of funds with illicit transactions such as gambling, the report said.

Last year, China fined Alibaba Group a record 18 billion yuan ($2.83 billion) for the company’s anti-monopoly violations.

China recently launched a three-year campaign led by the PBOC and the Ministry of Public Security, to fight money laundering.

 

• Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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