WeChat Suspends Crypto Accounts As China Resumes Crackdown
Chaoyang, a central district in Beijing, has ordered hotels, office buildings, and shopping malls in the area to avoid hosting cryptocurrency events. According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Chaoyang’s financial authority issued such a notice after an overseas cryptocurrency exchange conducted an event in the area a week before.
Notably, WeChat, a popular messenger platform in China, has expelled numerous accounts which were involved in propaganda related to cryptocurrency and blockchain. WeChat has blocked those accounts on a permanent basis citing Chinese law regarding cryptocurrency trading.
Accounts to which service has been taken down do not exhibit any previous content, but a notice pops up which indicates that the account is no longer active:
“Due to users’ complaints and after the platform’s examinations, the account is found to violate ‘Temporary Regulations on the Development and Management of Public Information Services for Instant Messaging Tools’ and all contents have been banned. The account has been prohibited for use.”
The order issued by Chaoyang’s financial authority, along with WeChat’s move to block numerous accounts related to blockchain and cryptocurrency, highlights China’s resumed crackdown on cryptocurrency related activities.
The twin moves also confirms Beijing’s determination in implementing a total ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cyrptocurrency trading announced in September last year. Even though China is investing billions of dollars to implement blockchain technology in all sectors, it wants to send a clear message that cryptocurrency investing is not welcome in the country.
Beijing Chaoyang release a file to ban offices, hotels from hosting token-related promotions. pic.twitter.com/vxtyld9q3n
— Red Li (@redtheminer) August 22, 2018
The South China Morning Post stated that Huobi, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, considers WeChat shutdown as a “broad action targeting industrial media.”
Recently, the Communist Party of China published a guide on distributed ledger technology titled “Blockchain – a Guide for Leaders” for government officials.
The Party’s news outlet People’s Daily said
“The biggest significance of blockchain technology at present is its operating mechanism. Through the ingenious combination of technologies, it can achieve the fair distribution of resources, thus ensuring that the community has consistent goals, and members have behavioral norms. This provides us with a new approach to examine problems, and come up with solutions.”
Earlier in March, People’s Daily alleged blockchain firms of deliberately publishing news aimed at manipulating cryptocurrency prices and promote their projects.
A portion of the comment about blockchain firms, published by People’s Daily, is as follows:
“These ‘media’ outlets have made a huge fortune in the speculative waves of cryptocurrencies, but due to their nature, it’s doubtful how long their barbaric growth can keep on going.”