People’s Bank of China and China’s Ministry of Commerce have issued regulations effective October 31 that place restrictions on the anonymity of pre-paid gift card purchasers and users.
Pre-paid gift cards are becoming more and more popular as an untraceable way to bribe public officials.
Procuratorates from Shijingshan, a district of Beijing, reported in 2009 that 80 percent of the bribery cases they investigated involved pre-paid shopping cards.
The new rules require purchasers of gift cards worth more than 10,000 yuan ($1,600) to supply their name, identification number, and contact details.
They also state companies buying gift cards valued above 5,000 yuan ($800), and individuals buying cards valued above 50,000 yuan ($8,000), must pay via bank transfer.
The regulations also ban the use of credit cards to purchase pre-paid shopping cards, including pre-paid cards issued by shopping malls and local public-transport agencies.
The full text of the new regulations (in English and Chinese) is now available for download in the China section of the FCPA Blog members area.
Sources: Global Times, China Daily
Benjamin Kessler is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and managing editor of its membership area.