WeChat pulls plug on crypto and blockchain linked accounts
WeChat, the Chinese messaging and digital payment platform has pulled the plug on accounts publishing content related to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
According to reports from news service Caixin, WeChat has permanently banned several accounts that focus on promoting blockchain, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto trading. It said the content runs counter to Chinese rules on digital currency trading.
Several blockchain media accounts, including Golden Finance and Coin World, were effectively black-balled. In explaining the move, WeChat said:
‘A Tencent official said that some public accounts are suspected of publishing ICO and virtual currency trading hype information violating the ‘Interim Provisions on the Development of Public Information Services for Instant Messaging Tools.’ Tencent is the Chinese corporate giant behind WeChat.
Other crypto-focused media outlets banned by WeChat are Coindaily, Huobi Zixun, Shenlian, and Caijing.
Beijing is known to have a tough stance on cryptocurrencies so this latest development is not a complete surprise.
In September last year, the Chinese government announced a ban on virtual currency exchange operations as well as over-the-counter or peer-to-peer crypto trading. The decision represented a major clampdown and a significant blow to eager Chinese crypto investors and traders.