China and UAE Join Forces to Tackle Crypto Crime Wave

China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have pledged to enhance their cooperation in combating cybercrime associated with cryptocurrency.

This commitment was made through a May 30 joint statement following the UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s state visit to China.

The announcement comes as Hong Kong reports a surge in crypto fraud between 2022 and 2023.

The joint statement highlighted concerns including telecommunications network fraud and online gambling. Both nations aim to curb illegal activities exploiting cryptocurrencies, showcasing their determination to tackle these issues.

Beyond cybercrime, China and the UAE are committed to fighting money laundering, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and illegal immigration. This effort addresses illicit financial flows that could involve digital assets.

While the statement did not specify regulations targeting cryptocurrency, it indicated a coordinated approach to address potential misuse of crypto technologies.

The statement also emphasized the importance of supporting bilateral trade and investment. Both nations committed to promoting trade, facilitating investment, and developing tourism through the Joint Economic and Trade Committee.

A notable aspect of the joint statement was the recognition of central bank digital currency (CBDC) in enhancing cross-border trade and investment. China and the UAE expressed their commitment to deepening cooperation under the Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Central Bank Digital Currency Cooperation, signed by their central banks.

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China, UAE pledge joint crackdown on cryptocurrency crimes

China praised the UAE for its pioneering effort in completing the first direct cross-border CBDC transaction, the “Digital Dirham,” valued at 50 million dirhams through the “Multilateral Central Bank Digital Currency Bridge (mBridge)” platform.

This milestone transaction has opened new opportunities for trade and investment between the two nations.

As previously reported by, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is working on two CBDC-related projects, MBridge and e-HKD.

The central banks of Hong Kong, China, Thailand, and the UAE, along with HKMA, are developing mBridge, a cross-border central bank digital currency initiative. This project is expected to launch by mid-2024 and could provide an alternative to Swift’s payment infrastructure, potentially leading to further payment fragmentation across regions.

HKMA is also working on e-HKD, demonstrating various use cases including payments, deposits, and investment scenarios.

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