China’s crypto promotion ban expands beyond Beijing
Authorities in China have continued their aggressive clampdown on the cryptocurrency sector, following the announcement of an expansion of a ban on promoting cryptocurrency events beyond Beijing for the first time.
Crypto events were banned in Beijing’s Chaoyang district earlier in the month. According to local press, this ban has now been extended to Guangzhou’s Development District, moving beyond Beijing for the first time.
There is concern now that the ban will be applied more generally, in keeping with efforts from the Chinese government to crackdown on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.
It comes shortly after authorities announced new measures aimed at cryptocurrency communication channels and blockchain social media accounts, as well as efforts to shut down remaining ‘loopholes’ that allow investors to access crypto markets.
Earlier this month, WeChat blocked several notable cryptocurrency accounts which were said to be publishing ‘hype’ around cryptocurrencies to please the Chinese authorities, with the firm’s owner Tencent putting out a statement banning cryptocurrencies shortly thereafter.
This is a move that has been echoed by other tech giants in the country, as they fall into line behind Beijing’s restrictive approach to the sector.
“In accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies,” Baidu shuttered two different chat platforms which had been used for discussing cryptocurrencies, while Alibaba has said it will suspend the accounts of anyone using its platforms for cryptocurrency trading.
Last week, the People’s Bank of China followed up with a cautionary note about the risks of engaging with ‘illegal ICOs’, which is called a “gimmick” akin to a Ponzi scheme.
These are the latest in a series of measures introduced by Beijing with the specific intent of banishing the cryptocurrency sector from the country.
Notable for its hardline approach, the Chinese government warns that the risks of engaging in ICOs and investments in cryptocurrencies like BTC justify the outright ban, and it looks as though policy around the sector is continuing to get tighter.
With the latest ban now set to come into force in Guangzhou, it remains to be seen whether a wider ban might be on the cards in the weeks ahead.
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