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Xu Chaojun was arrested during a raid against illegal gambling. Chaojun is famous for being the former vice president of the Chinese blogging platform RenRen which can boast of 240 million users.
Chaojun and 9 other businessmen were suspended in one of the Beijing restaurants in the middle of June. Xu did not participate in the game but collected 5% rake from other players, which can be interpreted as the organization of an underground casino. The Chinese press got to know about the incident only in a few days, after a small press conference with Chaojun.
Xu Chaojun claims that the game involved not professional players, but just wealthy businessmen. It is known that Texas Hold'em is popular with rich people, so this situation is just a message to other players. In these games, money does not play a special role. People at the tables are wealthy and will not notice the loss of 80,000 yuan. A win is more important than money for them. Although Chaojun mentioned 80,000 yuan, 9 players were seized about 3 million yuan ($446,000). Chaojun faces from 3 to 10 years of imprisonment as an organizer.
In addition to working in RenRen, Chaojun was involved in several Chinese internet projects, in particular, the search engine Sogou and DianDian — the Chinese version of Tumblr. Recently, Xu has been actively involved in poker. He is one of the founders and teachers at the Beijing International School of Poker, and in spring he was on the team of Chinese poker players.
Despite the fact that poker is not banned in China, this is not the first case of misunderstanding between the authorities and the game organizers. In November 2016, the Shanghai authorities closed the Asia Poker League festival, and in 2015 the police raid interrupted one of the APPT stages.
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