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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business_Markets
Ant apologizes over misleading sign-up
    2018-January-5  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

ANT Financial, the Internet finance behemoth controlled by billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma, has apologized for roping unsuspecting users into its fledgling, but fast-growing credit-score system.

Ant Financial’s Alipay kicked off a free service this week to help users generate a consumption profile, based on their shopping history. But buried at the bottom of its landing page was a small box — checked by default — that automatically enrolled users to its Sesame Credit unless they opted out.

The subsequent online uproar prompted Ant Financial to change that setting and to call the move “extremely idiotic,” according to a post on its official social media account late Wednesday.

“We have used a very stupid way of informing users that only by agreeing to the Sesame Credit terms can they review their annual Alipay bill, and we apologize for creating upset and panic for users,” Sesame Credit’s statement said.

The acquiring and analysis of the consumer data accumulated through Sesame Credit is also strictly in line with relevant rules and regulations, and no user data would be mishandled and overly collected, according to the statement.

Many users complained that they only wanted to see their total annual spending on Alipay, with no idea their information would be collected and used on Sesame Credit.

The online outrage highlights growing concerns over a lack of transparency on how companies are gathering and using personal data in China.

Tencent Holdings Ltd. this week publicly denied it was storing users’ chat histories, after a high-profile entrepreneur questioned whether it was keeping tabs on private conversations.

It also underscores how personal data have become the new currency in an ongoing race between China’s tech giants, already pioneers in the field of using highly granular mobile and online information to determine an individual’s credit-worthiness.

Ant Financial, formally known as Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group, said none of the users who involuntarily opted in for Sesame Credit would be enrolled in the program.

Tencent’s WeChat, China’s most popular messenger app, said in a statement Tuesday that it didn’t keep backups of users’ chat conversations on its servers. (SD-Agencies)

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