Binance remains fully operational in China, a new report by state media outlet CCTV has revealed.
The government of China has banned virtual currency transactions and ICO activities in 2017, forcing digital currency exchanges in the country to cease operations. However, a recent CCTV investigation revealed that its Beijing-based reporter was able to sign up on the Binance platform via its Chinese website, Binancezh.com, and was also able to purchase digital currency.
In response to the report, Binance said that binancezh.com is a test site.
The company said that data from Alexa, a platform that looks at several metrics to rank website popularity, most of Binancezh.com users come from Egypt. However, according to the web analytics company SimilarWeb, a majority of Binancezh.com traffic—roughly 80%—comes from China.
Binance went on to say that its phone app could not be downloaded in China’s application market and that it is not possible to log into Binance.com from China–but does it matter?
Regardless of whether or not Chinese residents can use Binance.com, the fact that the CCTV reporter can use Binance while living in Beijing shows that there is still a way to access and use Binance while living in China.
China’s 2017 digital currency ban
On September 4, 2017, The People’s Bank of China, the Central Cyber Office, and seven other government departments issued the “Announcement on Preventing the Risk of Token Issuance and Financing,” a document that said digital currency transactions and initial coin offerings are illegal in China. It stated:
[Digital currency exchanges] are prohibited from converting legal tender into cryptocurrencies, or vice versa. They are also prohibited from purchasing or selling cryptocurrencies, setting prices for cryptocurrencies, or providing other related agent services. Government authorities may shut down the websites and mobile applications of platforms that fail to comply, remove the applications from application stores, or even suspend the platform’s business licenses.
According to the “Announcement on Preventing the Risk of Token Issuance and Financing,” digital currency exchanges are not allowed to buy, sell, or provide service to Chinese citizens.
The fact that the CCTV report was able to use Binance to buy digital currency shows that Binance is defying a government mandate and that law enforcement officials in China may pursue a case or file charges against Binance for breaking the law.
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