China’s WeChat bans crypto and NFT-related accounts

WeChat, China’s top social media platform, has updated its policies to ban accounts that provide access to crypto or NFT-related services.

under new Guidelines, accounts involving the issuance, trading and financing of cryptocurrencies and NFTs will be restricted or prohibited and will fall under the category of “illegal business”.

The policy also covers secondary NFT transactions, with the company noting that “accounts that provide services or content related to secondary transactions in digital collectibles should also be treated in accordance with this article.”

On June 20, Hong Kong-based crypto journalist Colin Wu highlighted the move as he noted its importance as WeChat has more than 1.1 billion daily users in China.

In terms of punishment, the new policy stipulates that “once a violation is found, the WeChat public platform will order the violating official account to correct within a time limit according to the severity of the violation, and restrict some functions of the official account until the permanent account is banned.”

From May to September last year, the Chinese government imposed a phased ban on the local crypto industry. However, given the timing of WeChat’s latest policy update, this may suggest that the platform has been ignoring some crypto activity since then.

Additionally, the country still has a regulatory grey area regarding NFTs, as assets can be purchased in fiat.Nonetheless, companies and platforms generally bar Secondary transactions to avoid potential compliance issues with the financialization of technology.

Generally speaking, officials have Disapprove of NFTsthe China Banking Association, the China Internet Finance Association and the Securities Association of China issued a joint statement in April warning the public of the “risks” of investing in assets.

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Popular platforms such as WeChat and Ant Group-owned WhaleTalk have distanced themselves from the technology since March, following reports that a lack of regulatory clarity and Fear of repression in Beijing.

Nonetheless, local media reports on June 16 highlighted data showing the number of digital collection platforms in China has grown to more than 500a 5x increase since February 2022.