Alibaba’s Taobao Ban All Crypto / ICO Services Amid Escalated Clampdown
Alibaba’s Taobao, one of the world’s largest online shopping platform, has banned stores on its platform from providing goods and services related to cryptocurrency and ICO.
On April 10, the e-commerce giant updated its list of prohibited goods and services, cryptocurrencies powered by blockchain technology and other derived services are included, ICO-related services are specially targeted.
As some early bitcoin investors disclosed, Taobao was once an important platform for domestic investors to conduct crypto transactions before 2014. Aware of bitcoin price’s volatility along with government’s negative attitude, in Jan 2014 the platform rolled out prohibited list including goods such as bitcoin, litecoin, etc., crypto-mining guides as well, namely the old rules. After 4 years, the rules released on Tuesday are more detailed in policy update.
Before and After of Taobao’s rules on prohibited items related to cryptocurrency and ICO
To be effective from April 17, the new rules extends the platform’s existing regulatory scope from previously banning the sales of virtual currencies to now any service or product related to cryptocurrency and ICO, including crypto pets, technological development, business proposal, third-party service, marketing, etc.
The platform also warns, it is highly risky to get involved in speculation and illegal financing activities related to these digital currencies and similar products. No organization is allowed to provide services including transaction, exchange, pricing, intermediary and payment according to relevant laws and regulations.
This move shows Taobao’s quick action towards unfavored cryptocurrency amid government’s escalated crackdown. Last month, the platform quickly removed all ICO-related copywriting services coming on the heels of massive news reports disclosing the lucrative business in the grey zone enables ghostwriters easily earn hundreds of thousand yuan monthly by simply Ctrl C and Ctrl V. And days ago Alibaba sued a Dubai-based firm complaining its “Alibabacoin” has caused confusion by using its trademarked name to raise fund.
It is the latest internet platform to stop offering stage for ICOs and blockchain related projects, following recent bans on crypto ads by social media giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, as well as Baidu and WeChat In China.