The motive behind these cloned sites is likely to generate traffic for gambling operators, as they can serve third-party ads that publishers may be reluctant to carry on their own sites.

Hundreds of Websites Cloned to Run Ads for Chinese Gambling

Swedish digital rights organization Qurium has discovered approximately 250 cloned websites that appear to be driving traffic to Chinese gambling sites. The clones were found after Filipino media outlet MindaNews discovered a cloned version of itself in Chinese, filled with gambling ads. Qurium's investigation uncovered numerous similar clones, including sites belonging to private businesses, universities, and public libraries. These clones were created in September 2021 and all featured advertisements for the gambling company '188bet' via a link to Qurium alleges that some of the gambling ads on the website are connected to a physical address in the Isle of Man, a tax haven known for hosting gambling companies. The organization also found links to a UK-licensed company called Kaiyun, operated by TGP Europe Limited based in Gibraltar. TGP provides white-label gaming services and has previously been found to have breached anti-money laundering requirements. Qurium suggests that TGP provides its services to China-controlled entities that operate gambling services in Vietnam and the Philippines.

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