Macau casino operator Sands China Ltd says that in mainland China its official software applications or “apps” for mobile devices – featuring information on non-gaming aspects of the group’s business – are working normally.
A December 28 announcement from the Cyberspace Administration of China – a regulatory body responsible for monitoring Internet content – had said an app carrying the name “Macao Sands” in Chinese had been among 3,469 targeted for removal from app stores available on the mainland. The body had recently said it would “clear” mobile apps that promoted gaming, that featured sexual or violent content, or that were linked to fraud, or the theft of device-users’ personal information.
The Administration’s December 28 commentary did not clarify whether the “Macao Sands” app mentioned might be the product of an unauthorised use – by other parties – of Sands China trademarks.
Nonetheless the casino company told GGRAsia in an email in response to our enquiry: “Sands China confirms that all our official mobile apps continue to be accessible and function normally from within China. Our applications and websites comply strictly with Chinese laws and regulations.”
A mobile app called “Sands Resorts Macao” – on public record as having been developed by Sands China – allows users to book hotel rooms run by the operator in Macau, and to check on customer points tallies and benefits, as well as to view promotional offers.
Most Macau casino operators – including Sands China – also run at least one account on the Chinese social messaging app WeChat, enabling users to view company non-gaming offers, news on events, and to book hotel rooms.
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Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Tianjiao Yu
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein