According to Chinese news (Hunan TV) World Ventures, i.e. "WV", was investigated by Changsa Public Security back in October 2014. Other sources indicate that World Ventures was also met with legal challenges in Taiwan, and Malaysia, where it was accused of operating illegally.
Ministry of Labor and Commerce Enforcement Agents along with Public Security raided a facility that had a huge sign with the WV Logo and slogan outside, and asked the two present, a male and female, to show the business registration papers for WV. The two refused, claiming they had nothing to do with WV, but is instead a university career training workshop, and thus is not licensed and not for profit.
When confronted with the sign outside, the male "supervisor" deny any and all knowledge about the banner, claimed they had nothing to do with the banner. During the search, a business card was discovered with the supervisor's name on it, and even had the WV logo, but the man still refused to admit he runs a local WV branch, but instead tried to explain "I merely suggested some trip ideas to my friends and relatives." PS personnel then found the documents saved on the company computer and printed them out, which contains WV promotional material and comp plan. When confronted, the man continue to deny, claiming it was left by visitors. He was then confronted that his own printer printed those off his own computer. Then he had nothing else to say.
Labor and Commerce enforcement bureau spokesperson explained that WV is suspected of illegal pyramid selling, but most of the websites used to promote such are located outside of China, and thus making investigation and enforcement difficult.
In China, WV members have to pay in 3500 RMB, then refer 4 to 6 more members, and through a "double rail pyramid selling" the members can supposedly ear money through travel, and supposedly get 5-star accommodations for 2-star price. Furthermore, if the members recruit a lot of people, WV will compensate efforts with a lot of referral fees and even a car.
(cited link in Chinese from http://ch.therakyatpost.com/%E5%9B%BD%E5%86%85%E7%84%A6%E7%82%B9/2014/12/13/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BDwv%E6%B6%89%E9%9D%9E%E6%B3%95%E4%BC%A0%E9%94%80%E9%81%AD%E8%B0%83%E6%9F%A5/ )
It is understood that earlier Taiwan had also declared WV to be illegal pyramid selling and is forbidden from operating there. However, WorldVentures claims to have no office in Taiwan. Yet searching local news revealed that there are at least 2000 WV members in Taiwan, and they were holding 2 recruitment seminars a week, and had been operating in Taiwan since early 2014. As far as the new reports show, WorldVenture had applied for neither tourism permit nor registered with Fair Trading Office as required by law of all direct sales companies as of October 2014.
(cited link in Chinese from http://ch.therakyatpost.com/%E5%9B%BD%E5%86%85%E7%84%A6%E7%82%B9/2014/10/04/%E5%8F%B0%E5%AA%92%E4%BD%93%E6%8F%ADworldventures%E8%BF%9D%E6%B3%95%E5%90%B8%E9%87%91/ )
According to Malaysian Travel and Culture Ministry, WV does NOT have a tourism permit in Malaysia. It however, has a direct sales permit. Thus, if they are selling travel, they are doing so illegally. Furthermore, even travel agencies are forbidden to sell travel agent status or membership.
(see http://ch.therakyatpost.com/%E5%9B%BD%E5%86%85%E7%84%A6%E7%82%B9/2014/10/01/%E6%97%85%E6%B8%B8%E9%83%A8%EF%BC%9Aworld-ventures%E8%BF%9D%E6%B3%95%EF%BC%81/ )
When confronted with this declaration, the Malaysian leader of WV claimed they do not sell travel package at all, but only peripheral items like sunscreen and t-shirts. Any purchases are between the consumer and WorldVenture in the US. This is in direct contrast at one of their seminars attended by an undercover reporter, where less than 5 minutes were spent talking about the alleged products, while 2 hours were spent on the travel packages.
World Ventures have since sent out a press release where it basically claimed that we're not illegal because any Malaysian who buy packages from WV had the transaction done in the US and thus is not within jurisdiction of Malaysia. It is mostly in Chinese, and you can read it here: