Baidu joins China’s cryptocurrency blockade party
Chinese search giant Baidu has joined the growing list of large companies in China that have been banning cryptocurrency-related content. This was reported by the China Times, which indicated that the online search giant has started moving to block all crypto related content from its online portals.
According to the Beijing-based news outlet, Baidu is putting into place plans to restrict or even place a complete ban on all crypto related topics on the company’s online form—Baidu Tieba, which works similarly to Reddit.
Currently, sub-forums on Baidu Tieba that are dedicated to digital currency and virtual currency appear to be unavailable for those users who search for these topics. If one decides to search for those keywords, a statement on the forum comes up which reads, “This forum is temporarily closed due to relevant laws, regulations, and policies.” However, it’s worth noting that sub-forums relating to cryptocurrencies like “bitcoin” and “ethereum” remain active on the forum as at time of writing.
A Baidu Tieba representative was quoted by the Chinese news outlet saying the closure of the sub-forums could be because the topics were related to initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency speculation. It is well known that several ICOs have been found out to be scams and frauds with thousands of investors losing millions of dollars in cash which vanished along with the ICO. In fact, the whole industry has taken an almost irreparable beating from this sea of failed projects.
The representative went on to justify the closure by adding “the same with why WeChat did it,” referring to Tencent’s recent move to block crypto media accounts on its WeChat messaging platform.
Another Chinese company that has taken a hard stance against cryptocurrency was Alibaba, which vowed to continue monitoring and suspending accounts using its mobile payment app Alipay to conduct over-the-counter trading of cryptocurrencies.
Last week, WeChat Pay also released a statement prohibiting users from sending or receiving funds related to cryptocurrencies on its social media platform, saying, “We expect to firmly establish a risk prevention awareness, and actively cooperate with the government to maintain financial order and social stability.”
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