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Chinese law enforcement arrest PUBG cheaters
Tencent, the largest gaming company in the world, announced on PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) official Weibo account that it has helped law enforcement in Pingyang County, Zhejiang Province to crackdown on a criminal organization involved in the development, distribution, promotion, and selling of PUBG cheating plug-ins.
A total of 34 suspects were arrested in the crackdown, the company said in the Weibo post (in Chinese). The operations were carefully devised, involving operations that were part of a larger network of illegal activities.
According to Tencent, it has been working with Pingyang police since its cybersecurity team noticed a number of accounts promoting PUBG cheating plug-ins on social media platforms back in May,
In-game cheating has been a known problem to Tencent’s popular mobile adaptation of the popular battle royale. Since acquiring the rights for PUBG in China, Tencent has been trying to curb the use of unauthorized modifications like plug-ins that give players an unfair advantage in the game.
In February, data from Tencent’s anti-cheating technology provider BattlEye showed that 99% of PUBG accounts banned for cheating came from China—which is significant considering over 1 million accounts were banned in January alone.
Earlier this year, Tencent helped Chinese police identify around 30 cheating software programs that could be used in PUBG, which led to over a hundred arrests.
Tencent said that its guardian program’s cybersecurity team has been working with law enforcement across the country to crack down on criminal activities since the launch of this year’s internet cleanup efforts. The cleanup is part of the country’s larger campaign against online pornography and illegal publications.
PUBG Mobile recently surpassed more than $100 million in revenue in less than 200 days. The road to the new milestones wasn’t smooth sailing with the on-going clampdown on the gaming industry. Furthermore, Tencent has yet to receive the license to offer any in-game spending options, which, if approved, could bring in an estimated annual grossing of $1 billion.