In the past few days the Chinese officials have stepped up their enforcement of the ban on forex trading and cracked on at least half a dozen forex brokers and IBs, both local and offshore ones with ‘representative offices’. According to industry sources main reasons for this are the upcoming elections in China later this year and the recent boom in proliferation of forex and commodities trading across the country. Main target of the crackdown are the gold trading shops that popped like mushrooms lately, but in the process some forex business have been raided as well.
Details of this operation are very scarce as no broker would admit running into problems in China since operating a forex brokerage there is illegal however we’ve learned that several notable Chinese IBs had to shut down their websites. Some of them did so because their offices were raided and employees taken for questioning while others did so in advance in order prevent this from happening in the first place. Baidu, China’s largest search engine, has been instructed to block all sites advertising gold trading.
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As described in our detailed report about China published in the Q2 2012 report, operating forex business in China is illegal however there are workarounds. Some of them involve operating local IBs who take all the legal risk, instead of the broker, some involve operating ‘forex training seminars’, while some found elaborate ways to funnel money out of China and into the broker’s foreign bank account. Additionally, the number of local Chinese brokers accepting local deposits, offering forex trading through hacked MT4 servers and and more often than not scamming their clients has shot through the roof bringing even more scrutiny to this controversial industry.