The leading social media platform in China, WeChat, has updated its policies to ban accounts that provide access to cryptocurrencies or NFT-related services.
According to the new guidelines, accounts involved in the issuance, trading, and financing of cryptocurrencies and NFTs will be restricted or banned and will fall under the category of “illegal business.”
The move was highlighted by Hong Kong-based crypto news reporter Wu Blockchain (Colin Wu) on June 20, when he pointed out the importance of action as WeChat has over 1.1 billion daily users in China.
Regarding penalties, the new policy states that once such violations are discovered, depending on the severity of the violation, WeChat will order the offending official accounts to be corrected within a period of time. and restrict some account functions until the account is permanently banned.
The Chinese government issued a phased ban on the local cryptocurrency sector from May to September last year. However, given the timing of the latest policy update on WeChat, it may indicate that the platform has let some crypto activity go on without noticing it.
Furthermore, there is still an area of unclear regulation in the country regarding NFT as assets can be purchased with fiat. However, companies and platforms often ban trading to avoid potential compliance issues with the financialization of the technology.
In general, officials have expressed displeasure with NFTs, with the China Banking Association, the China Internet Finance Association and the China Securities Association issuing a joint statement in April warning the public. them about the “potential risks” of investing in assets.
Popular platforms like WeChat and Ant-owned WhaleTalk have distanced themselves from the tech sector since March after both reportedly started removing or restricting NFT platforms from their networks due to lack regulatory clarity and fear of repression from Beijing.
Even so, a local report from June 16 highlighted data showing that the number of NFT platforms in China has grown to more than 500, a 5-fold increase since February 2022.