China’s internet authority warned Alipay must improve its processes after the company broke information security rules by auto-enrolling customers into services provided by its credit management affiliate.

Bosses at the payment brand were under fire from the country’s Office of Network Security Coordination, a part of the State Internet Information Office, after users of Alipay’s end of year financial review feature were enrolled to Sesame Credit’s scoring service unless they opted-out.

This, the agency said, broke China’s data rules.

The auto-enrol feature was disabled and Ant Financial, parent of both companies, apologised for the incident, Xinhua News Agency reported last week.

In a statement, the authority said: “In strict accordance with the requirements of the Network Security Act, Alipay should step up its efforts to conduct a comprehensive investigation and carry out special rectifications and take effective measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again.”

It added Alipay and Sesame Credit would “seriously implement the regulatory requirements” and “learn a profound lesson”.