China’s largest social media platform WeChat has banned accounts related to digital assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) yet again. In March, the Tencent-owned platform had issued a similar ban, claiming it was moving to avoid speculation in digital assets amid Beijing’s crackdown on the sector.
In an announcement, WeChat outlined its newest crackdown on accounts that violate its guidelines, including those involved in ‘virtual assets and digital collectibles.’ In China, the term ‘NFTs’ isn’t as popular as it’s associated with speculation, something the government is adamantly against.
WeChat with more than 1.1 billion daily active users in China, has updated its rules: WeChat public accounts which involved in the issuance, trading and financing of crypto and NFTs will be limited function or banned. https://t.co/0I9oMrvFTp pic.twitter.com/mzclYjFZNg
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) June 20, 2022
The announcement reveals that the platform will ban any account that “involves the issuance, transaction and financing related to virtual currency, such as providing transaction entry, guidance [and] issuance channel guidance.” It then singles out the provision of information about pricing services for virtual currency transactions, virtual currency derivatives trading, virtual currency-to-fiat exchange, and token issuance.
Any account conducting such activities will be ordered to rectify its posts within a set time limit. WeChat will also restrict some of the account functions in the meantime. If the account doesn’t respond, it will be permanently banned.
This isn’t the first time that WeChat has banned NFT accounts. As CoinGeek reported, the platform banned a large number of accounts, claiming the move was meant to avoid speculation in digital assets. At the time, it said that any account that wants to promote NFTs “must have a blockchain company filing provided by the Chinese government, and disallowed secondary transactions.”
Despite the ban, NFTs are not illegal in China. While Beijing has banned digital assets, block reward mining, and even ICOs, it has not explicitly forbidden NFTs. However, they can’t be paid for in digital assets as they are prohibited. Secondary sales of NFTs are also frowned upon by the government as they are said to be speculative.
And while the government frowns upon NFTs, more commonly referred to as digital collectibles in China, Chinese investors have been flocking to the industry.
According to a report by a local outlet, NFT platforms have shot up fivefold to 500, up from just 100 in February this year. This is despite the country’s tech giants, such as Tencent and Alibaba, holding back from the industry in fear that they might draw the ire of the government. However, they have all filed multiple patents for NFT-related technology.
NFTs are so popular in the Asian nation that in March, when local sportswear company Xtep announced it would be releasing NFTs of virtual running shoes, they sold out in 70 minutes. Moreover, the NFTs were going for almost twice the price of the actual running shoes that the company released on the same day.
Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention presentation, NFTs: What Can We Do Better?
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