Shares of Alibaba, Taobao and Tencent tumbled in reaction to news of the shutdown, with 500.com experiencing a steep drop in share prices. The site was one of the few entities allowed by Beijing to sell sports lottery tickets, but temporarily stopped sales in light of the news. Tencent is expected to be hit especially hard in the crackdown, as they were major players in the market.
Online ticket sales for lottery games have become extremely popular in recent years, with 22 percent of overall purchases completed online. Sales hit RMB382.3 billion (approximately £40 billion) in 2014 alone.
A huge black market for online lottery ticket sales exists in China, with some private games marketed as state-run lotteries. The most recent crackdown represents another attempt by Beijing to regulate the industry and keep online lottery sales under the supervision of the state.
As of the time of writing, the only legal lotteries in the country that sell tickets online are the China Sports Lottery and the China Welfare Lottery. Visit Lotto.cn to learn more about the games offered in the country.