China has emphasized its crackdown on illegal social organizations, particularly those engaging in fraud and pyramid schemes under the guise of official and executive-sounding names. The Ministry of Civil Affairs has issued multiple warnings from Friday to Sunday to eradicate the breeding grounds for these unlawful entities.
The Social Organization Management Bureau under the ministry has prohibited Internet enterprises and public facilities from facilitating online and offline activities organized by illegal social organizations. Additionally, book publishers and news media, including television, radio, and newspapers, are prohibited from reporting on these activities. Members of the Communist Party of China, as well as enterprises and institutions, are discouraged from participating in these activities, as stated by the bureau.
These illegal organizations often adopt names that sound official and prestigious, such as "China," "Chinese," and "National." Many of these entities engage in fraudulent practices or pyramid schemes by conducting appraisal and commendation events, along with awarding certificates, all under the pretense of inheriting national culture and promoting industrial academic exchanges.
In both May and July of 2023, the Ministry of Civil Affairs unveiled two batches of such organizations, including the China Beauty and Health Industry Association and the China Scenic Area Association. Since March 2021, the ministry has exposed and banned over 671 illegal social organizations.
The ministry recommends that the public verify the legitimacy of organizations before collaborating with them or participating in their activities. Individuals can confirm if a social organization is officially registered by checking its name or registration number on the China Social Organization Government Service Platform website, the WeChat official accounts of Dynamic of Chinese Social Organizations, or the WeChat mini App of the National Social Organization Legal Personnel Database.