Dating apps run by 21 firms in China have been closed down amid allegations of fraud involving hundreds of thousands of customers, according to a newspaper report.
Some of the apps claimed customers could chat with “sexy girls” online, but clients found themself messaging and receiving answers from artificial intelligence computer programs instead, the New Express reported.
Other scams involved customers paying to watch videos with sexual content, but they were unable to load and view the films.
The department of public security in southern Guangdong province was quoted as saying that the cases involved hundreds of thousands of customers and the fraud amounted to more than 1 billion yuan (US$154 million). More than 600 suspects have been arrested.
Police said they discovered in August that some dating apps were asking users to pay a “VIP charge” of 200 yuan to chat to “sexy girls”.
One of the apps, identified as Moucheng, defrauded over a million users who paid a total of 340 million yuan, the report said.
The gangs, operating under various company names, were spread across 13 provinces and cities in China, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen.
This article 12 Chinese dating apps shut after ‘sexy girl’ chats found to be run by robots first appeared on South China Morning Post