China’s Cyberspace Authority Targets Fraudulent Apps Imitating Well-known Online Platforms


The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has found that fake investment apps figure prominently amongst the thousands of fraudulent apps investigated by the authority in 2022.

Since the start of the year CAC has investigated and taken down around 42,000 fake apps, as well as included them in its national suspected fraud blacklist, according to an announcement made by CAC on 1 July.

At present this blacklist includes around 3.804 million fraudulent websites, over 514,000 apps, and approximately 415,000 international phone numbers.

CAC highlighted the large number of fake investment apps on the list, many of which use logos or products similar to those of major Chinese Internet platforms to defraud consumers.

JD Finance was far and away the most popular target for developers of fake investment apps, with CAC investigating 5677 such cases.

Next on the list was Youqian Hua (有钱花), imitated by 1194 fake investment apps, followed by PPDai (拍拍贷) (1094) and Mashang Finance (马上金融) (865).

“Fraudsters imitate investment platforms to mislead and defraud Internet users, causing them to suffer severe loss of assets, as well as possible leakage of personal information,” said a CAC official in an official statement.

CAC highlighted a number of cases including the use of a fake “Nong E Loan” (农E贷) app in Sichuan province to defraud a consumer surnamed Wu of around 30,000 yuan in January of this year, and the use of a fake “Dongfang Caifu” (东方财富) app to defraud a consumer surnamed Jiang in Hebei province of around 200,000 yuan in February.