BEIJING (Xinhua) – China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) inked a deal with tech giant Tencent on Wednesday to jointly crack down on illegal wildlife trade online.
This is the latest example of the regulator’s efforts to fight against increasingly rampant online wildlife crimes committed on social media and e-commerce platforms.
At a June press conference, forest police in China’s wildlife-rich Yunnan Province said more than 90 percent of the major wild animal trafficking cases in the province happened through the Internet and logistics.
Tencent, which owns some of China’s most popular social media platforms such as Wechat and QQ, will introduce crime report tools in mini-programs on these platforms according to the deal.
Users can access the “Tencent For the Planet” Wechat account to submit tips on the platform about potential wildlife crimes and get feedback within 72 hours. Confirmed tip-offs will be sent to forest police for further actions.
“Cybercrime was something I could never imagine when I first came here [25 years ago],” said Susan Lieberman, vice president of the International Policy of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), an NGO. “The Chinese government is taking tremendous steps to tackle this issue.”
At the event, WSC, along with other six other NGOs, the NFGA and Tencent, launched a joint initiative to explore digital solutions for cracking down on wildlife crimes.
“Tencent hopes that wider industrial cooperation can make the fight against wildlife crimes more coordinated, innovative and professional,” said Xie Hu, vice president of Tencent.
In November 2017, eight Chinese internet companies including Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba set up an alliance to address illegal wildlife trade online.