September 19, 2018 / 2:39 PM / a year ago

Chinese police arrest man in connection with data theft at hotel operator Huazhu

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese police said on Wednesday they had arrested a 30-year-old man in connection with the theft of client information from Shanghai-based hotel operator Huazhu Group.

Shanghai police said on Aug. 29 that they were investigating a possible data breach at Huazhu Group after state media said nearly 500 million pieces of customer-related information from the hotel operator had emerged in an online post.

Huazhu operates 18 brands in China including French hotel group AccorHotel’s Mercure and Ibis hotels.

The hotel group said in a statement on Monday that “suspects” had attempted to sell certain data and to blackmail the company “by leveraging public pressure”, without success.

Shanghai police, in a statement on their official Weibo account on Wednesday, said a man had been arrested and charged with stealing data from Huazhu Group, adding that he had tried to sell the data but was unsuccessful. The police did not say if the man had accomplices.

State media has said the stolen data included customer registration information, personal data and booking records.

Reporting by Meg Shen; Editing by Susan Fenton

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