China detains 618 for scalping train tickets online amid Spring Festival crackdown

21:23, January 24, 2011      

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China's railway police have detained 618 people for scalping train tickets over the Internet, amid a crackdown on online ticket scalping, the Ministry of Railways said Monday.

The 618 were involved in 565 scalping cases, with 160 being detained by Beijing railway police.

Computer experts were deployed to collect, classify and analyze online ticket scalping information.

Various websites were urged to post slogans -- such as "Ticket Scalping is Forbidden" and "Avoiding Being Cheated" -- in conspicuous positions on webpages.

On Wednesday, the first day of this year's 40-day Spring Festival travel rush, railway police detained 330 people for scalping train tickets.

Some 700 million people, or nearly half the nation's population, are expected to travel within the country during the 40-day-long travel period. Some 230 million passenger trips will be taken by train, up about 12.5 percent from last year.

China's railway system is still "far from" meeting social demand, despite more than 13,000 high-speed and ordinary trains being added to the national network in 2010, Wang Zhiguo, vice minister of railways, said Wednesday.

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