The Chinese news agency ECNS reports that a special commission under the China General Chamber of Commerce has warned that online “one yuan deals” are a disguised form of online lottery action which is illegal.
In a statement Wednesday the commission said that the incentive offer was originally devised by Chinese e-commerce businesses to attract customers and boost sales. However, a random survey conducted recently by the commission on 23 online shopping websites and 17 apps showed such offers were actually a disguised form of gambling. And due to a lack of supervision these offers may turn out to be fraudulent, the commission cautioned.
One victim revealed that he won an Apple 6S after investing just a little more than 10 yuan through a previous lottery app, which had resorted to one-yuan deals following a nationwide ban on online lottery sales. Prizes offered by the site ranged from pre-paid phone cards to Apple phones and Audi Q5s vehicles, he said.
A law panel present at the commission said sites offering one-yuan deals are suspected of operating in violation of the country’s laws against unfair competition as well as massive tax evasion.
In related news, the Xinhua news agency reports that Chinese legal lottery sales increased to 34.88 billion yuan in April, up by 7 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Welfare lottery sales dropped by 0.8 percent to 17.95 billion yuan, while the sports lottery gained by 16.6 percent to 16.939 billion yuan.
From January to April, lottery tickets worth 125.6 billion yuan were sold, a year-on-year drop of 1.4 percent.
April’s lottery sales in Guangdong Province was up by 4.24 billion yuan from a year ago, while Hunan, Yunnan, Henan and Shaanxi provinces also posted large increases, according to the ministry.