Business

Ed Drake

China’s WeChat shuts down Bitmain sales account

The WeChat crackdown on crypto “hype news” channels continues, and this time one of the targets has been identified as Chinese cryptocurrency mining manufacturer Bitmain.

On Tuesday, CoinTelegraph reported that the Chinese social media platform has blocked Bitmain‘s official sales channel, which operates under WeChat ID “antminersale.” The company’s other WeChat accounts, including its official WeChat channel and after-sales account, remained accessible at press time, according to the news outlet.

Following the crackdown, Bitmain’s sales channel now displays a notice from WeChat, stating that the account “without having acquired authorized credentials or licenses… has been publishing and distributing information of relevant businesses it is involved in.”

Shutting down Bitmain’s account, at least one of them so far, is reportedly part of WeChat’s sweep on cryptocurrency and blockchain related accounts. Since August, the Tencent-owned social media platform has been suspending accounts it believes have violated the terms set out in the government’s “Interim Provisions on the Development of Public Information Services for Instant Messaging Tools.”

Some of the affected channels include crypto sites CoinDaily, Deepchain and Huobi News, which were accused of promoting crypto “hype.” To date, the total number of suspended WeChat accounts remains unknown. Other tech giants in country, such as Baidu and Alibaba, have also started banning cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related content from their online portals. Baidu, for its part, is reportedly 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—while Alibaba, has vowed to continue monitoring and suspending accounts using its mobile payment app Alipay to conduct over-the-counter trading of cryptocurrencies.

WeChat’s latest crackdown is most likely a move to counter cryptocurrency more broadly, specifically targeting the initial coin offering (ICO) space in an effort to counter fraud. Although we can’t help but wonder: maybe WeChat believes in Satoshi Vision and is against untested code?

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