China has pulled the plug on a host of blockchain related accounts that were disseminating news and information related to cryptocurrency on China’s most popular social app, WeChat. A minimum of eight main media outlets at the time of writing have been blocked, a few of which had raised millions of dollars in funding from venture capitalists.
Tencent Holdings Ltd, the developers of WeChat, released a statement to the media about the banning of accounts saying that they were “suspected of publishing information related to ICOs [initial coin offerings] and speculations on cryptocurrency trading.” Along with this, the statement also referred to it abiding by regulations that were put in place earlier on the 7th of August by the Cyberspace Administration of China. The regulations in specific that Tencent was acting in accordance to, required content provided within chat applications to abide by the “national interest” along with “public orders”.
This crackdown on media outlets reporting news about cryptocurrencies and ICOs is just the newest incidence in a series of many since last September when a ban was imposed by Chinese authorities, forbidding any unregulated crowd fundraising method that utilised cryptocurrencies. Although the Chinese government has been quick to accept and openly tout the merits of blockchain, it has made it evident that it would not want any investors to take part in cryptocurrencies just yet as it still holds concerns about its financial stability.
One of the media outlets that have been affected by this ban is finance news outlet, Jinse, that is backed by Node Capital and Deepchain. Jinse’s official WeChat account does not contain any of its previously posted articles and simply contains a message that reads:
“Due to users’ complaints and after the platform’s examinations, the account is found to violate ‘Temporary Regulations on the Development and Management of Public Information Services for Instant Messaging Tools’ and all contents have been banned. The account has been prohibited for use.”
Similar messages have appeared on the WeChat accounts of media outlets such as Deepchain, Huobi News and CoinDaily.