Twelve stock market analysts from China's island of Taiwan were detained in Shanghai on suspicion of fraud on Tuesday, nine of whom have been released on bail, and three remain in detention, Taiwan-based media reported on Saturday.
They all work at a Shanghai-based stocks analysis app named Thousand & Billion whose software product "aicaopan" (love trading) is accused of causing investors losses via recommending stocks that would rise to the 10 percent daily ceiling. The firm is not certified to sell the products, media reported.
A notice posted on the front page of the app on Tuesday said that its stock analysis and recommendation video programs were suspended due to a system failure, and the company will issue a notice as soon as the system is fixed. The same notice was posted on its Sina Weibo account on Wednesday.
截图 via 仟和亿官网
截图 via 微博
Besides the alleged illegal recommendation and manipulation of shares, another possible reason for the detentions is that some of the analysts are not licensed to provide stock market analysis in the Chinese mainland, an industry insider who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Sunday.
Some of the app users who had paid for the services requested reimbursement after news of the arrests leaked out. "Failed just after I paid? Please refund," a Sina Weibo user named Miricajier posted on Wednesday.
截图 via 微博
Tianyancha.com, a business inquiry service provider, shows that the largest shareholder in Thousand & Billion is Liao Yingqiang, a high-profile stock market analyst that was slammed with a fine of 129 million yuan ($18.75 million) by China's securities watchdog for manipulating the market and pocketing ill-gotten gains in May 2018.
截图 via 天眼查
The arrests come amid the tightening of regulations on securities markets in China, which aim to improve the investment environment and further protect investors' rights and interests, analysts said.
"Through increasing the size of the fines, the number of administrative penalty cases and the amount of referrals to judicial authorities, China has strengthened regulations on the securities market," Li Daxiao, chief economist at the Shenzhen-based Yingda Securities, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The more stringent regulations are beneficial for the healthy and sustainable development of financial markets, Li added