China police investigate possible data breach at hotel operator Huazhu

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese police are investigating a possible leak of client information from Huazhu Group, after state media said nearly 500 million pieces of customer-related information from the hotel operator had emerged in an online post.

Shanghai’s Changning District police said, on their official Weibo account late on Tuesday, that they had been alerted to the possible data breach by the company.

Huazhu operates 18 brands in China including that of French hotel group AccorHotel’s Mercure and Ibis hotels. The company’s headquarters are in Shanghai’s Changning district.

Xinhua reported on Wednesday that nearly 500 million pieces of information related to the hotel group’s customers had emerged on an online post on Tuesday, which included customer registration information, personal data and booking records.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Himani Sarkar