Business 23 August 2018Erik Gibbs
Beijing Financial District off-limits to crypto events
Cryptocurrency is now persona non-grata (crypto non-grata?) in downtown China. The country’s financial service department reportedly has placed a ban on all businesses in the area—including restaurants, hotels, office buildings and shopping malls—from holding any activity related to or that promote cryptocurrencies.
The order was apparently given on August 17 and is just now being circulated. It says that all commercial properties must abstain from organizing or hosting any event related to “cryptocurrency talks and promotion.”
It would seem that the idea is not meant to halt interest in cryptocurrency. Rather, it is designed to protect the public, strengthen the country’s financial system and to promote the Chinese yuan as the only legal currency.
The order reads, in part, “We now order every shopping mall, restaurant, hotel and official building not to provide venues for any events that promotes or talks about cryptocurrency, and must report to the authority if such activities were found.”
China has taken a strong stance against cryptocurrency activity while not putting digital currency completely on the chopping block. This past April, a conference centering on blockchain technology in Shanghai was broken up by police and then forced to cancel. While the exact reason was not given, rumors were that the move was due to the event allowing an initial coin offering (ICO) promoter to man a booth during the conference.
The country’s most popular social media platform, Tencent-owned WeChat, announced just two days ago that the platform will no longer allow any accounts that are tied to cryptocurrency or the blockchain. Several accounts have already been banned, including those of CoinDaily, Deepchain and Huobi News.
Where account posts used to be seen by other users of the platform, now the users are only met with a message that reads, “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.”
There was no official word from Chinese authorities on the ban, but the country has recently tightened the clamps on a number of industries to help control the spread of crypto. Even instant messaging and other social media platforms have come under the gun, with the government arguing that they are being used to manipulate the cryptocurrency markets.
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