Online fraud 'accounts for a third' of all crime cases

Cyber security is a major concern for China, with booming money loss figures being reported.

Cyber security is a major concern for China, with booming money loss figures being reported.

The country has the world’s biggest online market by Internet population, but industry regulators and top dot-com firms say a third of crime cases in China are related to Internet crimes, a figure that’s rising 30 percent a year, according to Tencent, the country’s leading dot-com company.

Last month, Chinese Internet regulators received 4.39 million cases nationally, up 22 percent from a year ago, the Cyberspace Administration of Shanghai said on Monday.

Internet crime has become a top social problem — covering fraudulent phone calls and short messages, phishing websites, ransomware viruses and privacy invasion, industry experts said.

New technologies and a new ecosystem with both industry and regulator powers should be adopted to fight online crime, said Pony Ma, chairman of Tencent, which has more than 1 billion users signed up to messaging app WeChat and its popular games.

Tencent cooperated with government regulators, including the public security officials, last year to crack down on 160 top Internet crime cases, involving money losses of 3.2 billion yuan (US$485 million).

Reports to the regulators have been transferred and processed with top dot-com firms including Tencent, Sina, Baidu and Alibaba, said the Shanghai cyberspace administration.

Chip-level security flaws also need investigating to improve online security, industry experts said. 

Two chip-level flaws, dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” have been discovered recently, which may affect billions of smart devices produced in the past decade. This means both Windows and Mac computers could be affected, as well as iPhones, iPads, Android phones and cloud service providers.

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