A Chinese observer has dismissed rumors that around 100,000 Chinese people had fled Cambodia in the week after the country cracked down on illegal online gambling.
Lin Jiaxu, a reporter from state media People’s Daily based in Phnom Penh, said the number was more like 3,000 to 5,000.
Earlier this month, South China Morning Post reported a “mass exodus” of Chinese citizens leaving online gaming hubs such as Sihanoukville, following an announcement from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen that the Kingdom won’t issue any further licenses and will not renew existing ones once they expire.
Lin, however, asserted that the number was exaggerated.
A similar sentiment was also shared by a number of executives based in Sihanoukville who were in attendance at last week’s Mekong Gaming Summit, organized by Asia Gaming Brief.
In his report, Lin also dispelled rumors that the Cambodian government was singling out Chinese people but instead was targeting all criminals, domestic and overseas.
He also noted that while residents in towns such as Sihanoukville were unsatisfied with the illegal behavior of some Chinese in the city, overall the countries’ cooperation and friendship remain firm and stable.