Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent Leap Aboard Beijing’s Cryptocurrency Crackdown

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The Chinese central government has enlisted the aid of the country’s leading tech giants in its ongoing crackdown on cryptocurrencies and ICO’s.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) recently led a slew of other central government agencies in the release of a risk warning against cryptocurrency fraud, nearly a year after Beijing launched a crackdown on the sector with a ban on initial coin offerings (ICO) and token-based financing.

China’s top tech companies including Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) have also undertaken corresponding measures to clamp down on the cryptocurrency sector.

Tencent has taken the lead with the permanent closure of a raft of cryptocurrency-related WeChat accounts, on the grounds that they provided information on ICO’s or cryptocurrency speculation in breach of the “Interim Administrative Regulations on Instant Messaging Tools Public Information Service Development” (即时通讯工具公众信息服务发展管理暂行规定) that were launched by the Cyberspace Administration of China on August 7.

Ant Financial’s Alipay has announced the launch of measures including the “firm adoption of handling measures including restriction of fund acceptance functions or even permanent restriction with respect to individual accounts suspected of cryptocurrency transactions.”

A representative from Ant Financial said to National Business Daily that it will clear out vendors who engage in cryptocurrency transactions, while Alipay will also adopt multiple means to provide users of the platform with risk education and warn them of various forms of fraud.

Baidu Tieba, which is China’s largest communications platform, has also shut  cryptocurrency related forums such as “Virtual Currency Bar” (虚拟货币吧) and “Digital Currency Bar” (数字货币吧), with attempts to access the forums producing an apology message announcing that “this bar is temporarily out of operation in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies.”

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