Popular Chinese Messaging Platform WeChat Prohibits Accounts Dealing in NFT, Crypto Services

After a public crackdown by the Chinese government on anything that has to do with cryptocurrency, one of China’s most popular instant messaging and calling apps in WeChat has now banned crypto-related accounts on its platform. As suggested by reports, accounts that issue, trade, and finance crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be restricted under the new rules and will be classified as ‘illegal business’. Section 3.24 in the updated WeChat “Code of Conduct” declares that any account involved in the issuance, trading, or financing of digital currency will face consequences, with the possibility of a permanent ban.

As per a statement provided to the South China Morning Post, Tencent said it will “order accounts to rectify if they provide relevant services or content for secondary trading of digital collectibles, and limit some features or even ban the account.” The news comes after in April, WeChat acknowledged it had suspended some accounts linked to NFTs.

The policy update will also introduce penalties for accounts providing transaction channels, guidance, or issuing cryptocurrencies to WeChat users. Accounts enabling initial coin offerings (ICOs) and transactions of crypto derivatives will also be affected.

The report notes that with the move, WeChat’s management is taking into account the guidelines issued by Chinese regulators earlier this year suggesting that businesses in the industry should steer clear of the financial aspect of such digital assets.

Although NFTs were largely left alone by Chinese regulatory bodies in the past, a recent report by China Times (via CryptoPotato) indicates that the amount of such platforms in the country has grown from about 100 to over 500 in 2022 alone.

Interestingly, in April, WeChat had incorporated the Chinese government’s Central Bank Digital Currency project ‘digital yuan’ in its payment options. However, the recent amendments made in the policy do project China’s strict monitoring of crypto or rather decentralisation.

Tencent’s stance therefore clears the way for its platforms – which have more than a billion users – to serve as a platform for China’s very traceable digital cash, but not to host content about alternatives.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.

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