SHANGHAI, Dec 10 (Reuters) - China has shut about 600 local websites that illegally offered foreign exchange margin trading services, state media quoted the foreign exchange regulator as saying.
Sun Tianqi, chief accountant of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, made the comments at a internet finance forum in Beijing in Saturday, according to the Shanghai Securities News newspaper.
He said that Internet-based foreign exchange margin trading platforms, which allow customers to buy and sell foreign currencies after depositing a fraction of the traded amount as security, had become more active in recent years.
Among them were overseas websites which had illegally offered such services in China while some domestic firms disguised themselves as consulting or training companies to do so, Sun said.
Regulators had now shut 572 of these websites and were in the process of checking or rectifying 34 others while three cases had been handed over to the police, he said.
Sun added that while it was necessary to gradually open China’s financial services market, there was also an urgent need to improve regulation of cross-border financial services.
Reporting by Brenda Goh