Tencent Faces Possible Record Fine for Anti-Money-Laundering Violations

Yann LeCun 

China’s central bank found regulatory breaches and lapses during recent inspection of the ubiquitous payments network

HONG KONG—Chinese technology giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. is facing a potential record fine for violations of some central bank regulations by its WeChat Pay mobile network, as Beijing toughens its regulations for fintech platforms, according to people familiar with the matter.

Financial regulators recently discovered that WeChat Pay had flouted China’s anti-money-laundering rules and had lapses in compliance with “know your customer” and “know your business” regulations, among other things, some of the people said. Tencent’s ubiquitous mobile payments network was also found to have allowed the transfer and laundering of funds with illicit transactions such as gambling, the people added. For WeChat Pay, “know your customer” and “know your business” procedures mean it must verify the identities of users and merchants transacting on its platform and the source of funds for those transactions.

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