HK internet celebrity Raymond Yuen sparks outrage after hitting back at investors in HK$30 million controversy over online claw machine business

16-May-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

A Hong Kong man accused of being behind a multimillion-dollar online investment trap caused an uproar on Wednesday after he said those who claimed they were victims were not worthy of complaining.

Internet celebrity Raymond Yuen Ping-fai broke his silence on Facebook about the controversy surrounding a novel claw machine business in which at least 100 people were said to be lured into investing HK$30 million (US$3.8 million).

Claw machines are arcade games where players manoeuvre pincers to grab toys and other prizes.

The Democratic Party, representing angry investors, on Monday said those who bought into the scheme were promised monthly returns of HK$10,000 per unit, which turned out to be just HK$10.

Yuen, who is also a well-known stock market commentator, added fuel to the fire a day later with his remarks after disappearing on social media for months.

“How can this small group of [complainants] represent everyone? What is the truth?” he posted on Tuesday.

“Those who cannot even tell the difference between an actual claw machine and an online claw machine, if they don’t even know what business they have invested in, how are they even worthy of complaining?”

If they don’t even know what business they have invested in, how are they even worthy of complaining?

Raymond Yuen, internet celebrity

In 2017, Yuen wrote on his Facebook page about an online claw machine business so special it could “impact your whole life”. Instead of visiting an arcade, people could control claw machines through a mobile app, which would live-stream the action.

Users buy cryptocurrency on the app to play the game and move pincers in an attempt to win prizes. Winners can have the toys delivered to their homes.

Those who had expressed interest in the business signed contracts with a company called Mighty Lucky International. Another company, Secret Technology, was responsible for looking for investors.

Other complaints from investors included not knowing where the machines were located or whether they actually existed.

Investors also said they found it strange they were paid a return of HK$10 a month through a special cryptocurrency called XPT. They had to convert the XPT into the more widely accepted bitcoin, and subsequently into cash.

A Mighty Lucky spokesman said in a video to investors on Tuesday night they were supposed to help promote the app. Those who did not would be making less money than others.

“If you don’t do anything… of course you will be making very little money,” the spokesman said. “You have come to the wrong place.”

If you don’t do anything… of course you would be making very little money

Mighty Lucky spokesman

He claimed some investors had received a “six-digit figure” in the past three months.

“If you make a reservation in Trivago, Agoda or even Airbnb, you won’t ask where their offices are, because they are online platforms,” the spokesman said.

But investors said they were never told they had to promote the app. Instead, they were told when they signed contracts that profits would be evenly spread among all who put in money.

An investor who declined to be named said Yuen was being unreasonable, adding it was natural for investors to ask where the machines were, because these belonged to them.

Democratic Party’s Ramon Yuen Hoi-man, who was assisting the investors, said the internet celebrity had failed to explain anything in his Facebook post.

“The complainants were never told they needed to help promote the app,” he said.

He called on the celebrity to declare his role and interests in the business.

According to filings to the Companies Registry, a person called “Yuen Ping-fai” is listed as the founding member of Secret Technology.

The Post contacted Raymond Yuen on Facebook but he did not respond to a request for comment.

Police on Monday said the Mong Kok district crime squad was investigating and no one had been arrested yet. The force said on Wednesday it had no update on the case.


Category: Hong Kong

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