China is Blocking Crypto Exchanges’ Social Media Accounts, OKEx, Huobi Included
March 6- Chinese regulators are targeting social media accounts used by cryptocurrency exchanges that continue to offer services for Chinese investors, according to a report by Caixin, a Beijing-based business media outlet.
China had unequivocally banned ICO and forced the closure of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges that offered fiat-to-cryptocurrency trading last September, after it most crypto exchanges had moved overseas. While Chinese crypto traders were still able to easily access these platforms (Huobi, OKEx and Binance included) without the help of VPN.
Crypto Exchanges’ WeChat Account Blocked
Obviously, regulator authorities of the country have noticed that, a source close to China’s Internet Financial Regulation Office told Caixin,
“(Internet Financial Regulation Office said) once financial fraud is reported, (person in charge) should be immediately arrested, no matter (it is) onshore or offshore, all should be regulated. (we’re) urging relevant departments to further block the IP addresses of overseas crypto exchange.”
Last Friday, the official WeChat account of OKEx and Huobi were closed, which triggered great panics worrying the government was intervening to block it, while OKEx denied it, but explaining it was a result of user’s complaint report during the 3.15 period. “The user does not exist” pops out when searching OKEx, and links to its previous content are now showing a notification reading:
The account has been blocked and content is not available.
The platform may have violated relevant laws and regulations after being reviewed per users’ complaints.
Huobi has secretly changed its previous WeChat official account name “火币网” into huobicom and continues to be operational.
Caixin today said it has confirmed that the WeChat censorship is a result of regulator’s tightened oversight on platforms that still offer crypto trading information and service to Chinese investors. The move shows China’s determination on cutting off all the connection (services provided by crypto exchanges) between Chinese investors and crypto world.
OKEx, registered offshore, is the biggest crypto exchange with daily value other $1.8bln according to coinmarketcap in Feb. 2018. It is still active listing new ICO tokens despite the regulators’ escalated crackdown, recently listed BEC on its platform spiking 4000% drew much attention. Huobi, a major crypto exchange headquartered in Beijing, is said to move its headquarter to Singapore and rumor has it that its CEO and COO have been confined in China.
Telegram Be Their Overseas WeChat
To tackle the problem of blocking their exchanges’ account on WeChat, they may turn to Telegram to continue services for their community.
In fact many crypto-related enterprises has already doing so, as chatting contents with sensitive words like bitcoin(比特币) and ICO (私募) are restricted, and active bitcoin WeChat groups have been disabled on Chinese social media like WeChat and QQ.
CPPCC Member Proposes State-owned Digital Asset Exchange
This further crackdown move occurred during the Two Session period in the country, following a CPPCC member proposes to create a digital asset exchange of the national level, may be a symbol that if such an exchange is created, the state digital currency might be the only one to be listed and allowed. Decentralization may run on a centralized foundation by then in the country.