China has vowed to intensify its crackdown on the illegal issuance of commercial prepaid cards to government officials in order to prevent bribery and corruption, the Ministry of Supervision said Friday.
Addressing a Thursday meeting concerning the regulation of commercial gift cards, Ma Wen, China's supervision minister, urged authorities to introduce concrete measures that will prevent gift card fraud and stem gift card-related bribery at its root, the ministry said in a statement.
Ma, who is also head of the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention (NBCP), said measures must be put in place to punish card issuers who disobey rules regarding commercial prepaid cards.
An unknown number of commercial gift cards are issued every year as a means of payment for various goods and services in China.
The State Council, or China's cabinet, said in an official document issued in May that it has urged authorities to step up their efforts to regulate commercial gift cards in order to prevent money laundering and tax evasion
According to current regulations, issuers of gift cards must register the identities of the cards' purchasers if they purchase more than 10,000 yuan (about 1,500 U.S. dollars) in cards.
In addition, the face value of cards that do not bear the names of their owners must be below 1,000 yuan, while the face value of cards bearing the names of their owners must not exceed 5,000 yuan.