China’s Alipay: Stolen Apple IDs behind thefts of users’ money

Apple Pay, while not as popular as WeChat Pay and Alipay, has become increasingly popular in China’s large eastern cities. (Reuters)
Updated 11 October 2018

China’s Alipay: Stolen Apple IDs behind thefts of users’ money

  • ‘Alipay has contacted Apple many times...and the issue has not been resolved’
  • Apple Pay, while not as popular as WeChat Pay and Alipay, has also become increasingly popular in China’s large eastern cities

BEIJING, Oct 11 : Ant Financial’s Alipay, the operator of one of China’s top two mobile payment apps, said hackers have taken an unknown amount of money from accounts using stolen Apple Inc. IDs and the issue remains unresolved despite reaching out to the US giant.
Alipay said in a post on its Toutiao social media account on Wednesday that users who have linked their accounts using Apple IDs should lower transaction limits.
“Alipay has contacted Apple many times...and the issue has not been resolved,” the post said.
The breach has affected users of both Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd’s WeChat and some users lost up to 2,000 yuan ($288), state media outlet Xinhua said on Thursday.
A Shanghai-based spokeswoman for Apple declined to comment. Representatives for Tencent did not respond to emails or phone calls seeking comment.
Ant Financial is the payment affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
It is not clear how many users were affected by the breach, and Alipay’s statement urged affected users to contact Apple.
The potential breach underscores the security challenges facing China’s huge mobile payments market, where WeChat and Alipay services have become ubiquitous in daily life.
It also highlights the pitfalls facing tech firms in China, where smartphone scams and personal data breaches are more common than other markets.
Apple was chastised by Chinese state media in July for the amount of spam being sent on iMessage, with media saying with the company’s strict stance on privacy was hindering its ability to crack down on illegal behavior.
The company has since said it is contact with telecom companies on how to reduce the amount of spam received through iMessage.
Apple users in China are required to link their IDs to their phone numbers, which are in turn linked to their national identification numbers. Apple Pay, while not as popular as WeChat Pay and Alipay, has also become increasingly popular in China’s large eastern cities.
For WeChat Pay and Alipay, which each have around half a billion users, breaches are rare though users are frequently warned not to send money to unidentified people using the platforms. ($1 = 6.9305 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)


General Motors and workers union contract expires, increases risk of strike

Updated 30 min 55 sec ago

General Motors and workers union contract expires, increases risk of strike

  • Union officials told General Motors they would let the contract lapse just before midnight Saturday
  • A strike by 49,200 union workers would bring to a halt GM’s US production

DETROIT: The four-year contract between General Motors and the United Auto Workers has expired as negotiations on a new deal continue.
Union officials told GM they would let the contract lapse just before midnight Saturday, increasing the risk of a strike as early as Sunday night. Union members working Sunday were to report as scheduled.
But there was a wrinkle. About 850 UAW-represented janitors who work for Aramark, a separate company, went on strike Sunday after working under an extended contract since March of 2018, the union said.
The strike covered eight GM facilities in Ohio and Michigan. Although UAW workers at GM are supposed to work, it wasn’t clear early Sunday whether the rank-and-file would cross their own union’s picket lines. GM said in a statement that it has contingency plans for any disruptions from the Aramark strike.
UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a letter to members that, after months of bargaining, both the union and GM are far apart on issues such as wages, health care, temporary employees, job security and profit-sharing.
The union’s executive leaders and a larger group of plant-level officials will meet Sunday morning to decide the union’s next steps.
The letter to members and another one to GM were aimed at turning up the pressure on GM negotiators.
“While we are fighting for better wages, affordable quality health care, and job security, GM refuses to put hard working Americans ahead of their record profits,” Dittes, the union’s chief bargainer with GM, said in a statement Saturday night.
Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank, said the union could strike at GM after the contract expires.
“If they’re not extending the agreement, then that would leave them open to strike,” she said.
But GM, in a statement Saturday night, still held out hope for an agreement, saying it continues to work on solutions.
“We are prepared to negotiate around the clock because there are thousands of GM families and their communities — and many thousands more at our dealerships and suppliers — counting on us for their livelihood. Our goal remains on building a strong future for our employees and our business,” the GM statement said.
A strike by 49,200 union workers would bring to a halt GM’s US production, and would likely stop the company from making vehicles in Canada and Mexico as well. That would mean fewer vehicles for consumers to choose from on dealer lots, and it would make it impossible to build specially ordered cars and trucks.
The union’s executive board was to meet early Sunday to talk about the union’s next steps, followed by a meeting in Detroit of plant-level union leaders from all over the country. An announcement was scheduled for after the meetings end.
If there is a strike, it would be the union’s first since a two-day work stoppage at GM in 2007.
The move by the union also comes as it faces an internal struggle over a federal corruption investigation that has touched its president, Gary Jones. Some union members are calling for Jones to step down while the investigation continues. But Friday night, union leaders did not remove Jones.
Union officials surely will face questions about the expanding investigation that snared a top official on Thursday. Vance Pearson, head of a regional office based near St. Louis, was charged with corruption in an alleged scheme to embezzle union money and spend cash on premium booze, golf clubs, cigars and swanky stays in California. It’s the same region that Jones led before taking the union’s top office last year. Jones has not been charged.
On Friday, union leaders extended contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely, but the pact with General Motors was still set to expire Saturday night.
The union has picked GM, which is more profitable than Ford and Fiat Chrysler, as the target company, meaning it’s the focus of bargaining and would be the first company to face a walkout. Picket line schedules already have been posted near the entrance to one local UAW office in Detroit.
Talks between the union and GM were tense from the start, largely because GM plans to close four US factories. The union has promised to fight the closures.