China is getting more aggressive in the campaign against cryptocurrency. In the latest development, Baidu (NASDAQ:BDU) has banned cryptocurrency-related activities from its platform. Baidu is the leading internet services provider in China as well as the country’s largest search engine. The news comes in the wake of recent reports that Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY) had banned crypto-related accounts from WeChat.
A while ago, local media reported a similar move by Alibaba (NASDAQ:BABA) which banned the use of digital tokens on AliPay. The tech giants have defended their actions terming them as a way of sticking to the official script.
As reported by the South China Morning Post today, Baidu has moved specifically against two forums. The forums, “Digital Currency Bar” and “Virtual Currency Bar”, have been particularly cited for perpetuating crypto information. The news outlet details that a search for the two forums aforementioned shows that they have been “temporarily closed in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and policies.”
China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office
On Friday, WeChat Pay issued a similar statement that proscribed users from transacting in digital coins. The firm further said that it does not tolerate any activity that endorses or financially support the virtual currency-related fundraisers. In view of the developments, the firm instituted a mechanism which would monitor and reports activity related to crypto advertising.
Following the establishment of the model, WeChat Pay has been able to alert Chinese regulators about crypto-activities on its platform. State media reported that the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office moved swiftly to shut down the public accounts.
Tencent, WeChat Pay’s parent company later issued a press release which duly warned its users against crypto activities. The issue reads, “Tencent appeals to its users that they understand the investment risks commonly associated with ICO and virtual currency trading platforms. We expect to firmly establish risk prevention awareness, and actively cooperate with the government to maintain financial order and social stability.”
The government on its part has insisted that the move against merchants of crypto information is benign, at least if you’re not a merchant of crypto information. According to state media, the merchants of the information are supposedly ripping off citizens. It argues that the crypto market is riddled with scams and many people have lost money, though many people lose money on a many investments every day.