Another ax hits upon the crypto enthusiasts of China as the three largest technology companies in the country, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (BAT) join in the cryptocurrency crackdown and bans cryptocurrency-related activities from their platforms.
According to a report by South China Morning Post (SCMP), China’s leading internet-services provider, Baidu bans at least two popular cryptocurrency chat rooms from its platform. A search for the two forums named “Digital Currency Bar” and “Virtual Currency Bar” displays the message – “temporarily closed in accordance with relevant laws, regulations, and policies.”
Meanwhile, Alibaba and Tencent cracked the whip on cryptocurrency transactions on their mobile payment services. A series of cryptocurrency media outlets were banned last week from Tencent’s social media, messenger services, WeChat, and mobile payments app, citing the violation of Chinese law.
Tencent in a recent statement has put a ban on cryptocurrency trading on WeChat. Furthermore, daily transactions in real-time will be monitored by the company and block any cryptocurrency trading-related activity. Alibaba Group’s Ant Financial said that it will take similar measures on its mobile payments app Alipay. The company will restrict or block all accounts that indulge in cryptocurrency trading.
China’s Crypto Crackdown
Notably, Chinese authorities blocked the website access of around 124 offshore cryptocurrency exchange desks in the country on Thursday. None of the companies have cited government orders as the reason for the ban brigade, some still speculate the government’s involvement as the announcements occurred concurrently. While it is certain that China’s official government policy has been an overbearing effect on how these companies chose their business.
Though the Chinese government has outlawed cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings (ICO), it shows a massive inclination towards blockchain technology. In May, the President of China, Xi Jinping, endorsed blockchain technology by claiming that it can help make economic breakthroughs in the country.
A similar “Blockchain, not Bitcoin” line has been coined by the founders of BAT. While all the three companies were never cryptocurrencies enthusiasts, they were still involved in multiple blockchain-based projects. Notably, Alibaba has the highest number of blockchain patents in the world.
If the Chinese government is indeed the silent force behind all the recent crypto bans, a lot more companies might follow suit.