After a public crackdown by the Chinese government on anything related to cryptocurrency, one of China’s most popular instant messaging and calling apps in WeChat has now banned crypto-related accounts on its platform. ‘Section 3.24 in the updated WeChat “Code of Conduct” declares that any account involved in the issuance, trading, or financing of digital currency will face the consequences, possibly a permanent ban. As suggested by reports, accounts that issue, trade, and finance crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be restricted under the new rules and will be classified as ‘illegal business’.
According to the South China Morning Post, Tencent said it will “order accounts to rectify if they provide relevant services or content for secondary trading of digital collectibles, and limit some features or even ban the account.” The news comes after, in April, WeChat acknowledged it had suspended some accounts linked to NFTs.
The policy update will also introduce penalties for accounts providing transaction channels, guidance, or issuing cryptocurrencies to WeChat users. Versions enabling initial coin offerings (ICOs) and transactions of crypto derivatives will also be affected.
WeChat, with more than 1.1 billion daily active users in China, has updated its rules: WeChat public accounts involved in the issuance, trading, and financing of crypto and NFTs will be a limited function or banned. https://t.co/0I9oMrvFTp pic.twitter.com/mzclYjFZNg
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) June 20, 2022
The report notes that with the move, WeChat’s management is considering the guidelines issued by Chinese regulators earlier this year, suggesting that businesses in the industry should steer clear of the financial aspect of such digital assets.
Although NFTs were largely left alone by Chinese regulatory bodies in the past, a recent report by China Times (via CryptoPotato) indicates that the amount of such platforms in the country has grown from about 100 to over 500 in 2022 alone.
Interestingly, WeChat incorporated the Chinese government’s Central Bank Digital Currency project ‘digital yuan’ in its payment options in April. However, the recent amendments in the policy project China’s strict monitoring of crypto or, rather, decentralization.
Tencent’s stance, therefore, clears the way for its platforms – which have more than a billion users – to serve as a platform for China’s very traceable digital cash but not to host content about alternatives.
Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender, subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be. It does not constitute financial advice, trading advice, or any other advice or recommendation offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived guidance, forecast, or other information in the article.