China’s Search Giant Baidu Shuts Down Some Cryptocurrency Sub-Forums
Chinese internet search giant Baidu joins the government’s latest effort to suppress cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offering (ICO). The company has shut down several popular cryptocurrency-related sub-forums on its Tieba, a Reddit-like forum, the Beijing-based China Times reported on Sunday.
Baidu’s initiative comes on the heels of Alibaba and Tencent, the other two members of China’s tech trio , reporting their escalated crackdown on accounts that are involved in crypto transactions on their mobile payment services.
Baidu Tieba , along with Tencent’s messaging app WeChat, is the main online communication platform for Chinese cryptocurrency investors. At present, a search of the two sub-forums of “Digital Currency ”and “Virtual Currency” is showed that they are temporarily closed “due to relevant laws, regulations and policies.” But other other chat rooms with relevant themes, such as “Biquan Bar”, “Bitcoin Bar”, “Huobi Bar” still remain active on Baidu Tieba.
Token issuers and marketing agents in the country tend to promote their projects on Tieba, and naive investors seek advice on this platform too. The majority of cryptocurrency projects on Baidu Tieba usually use various PR gimmicks, such as “get one miner free with registration” and “ airdrop ‘candies”to lure investors, and often promise investors of high returns in crypto investment.
Last Friday, China’s top five regulatory agencies including the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the Ministry of Public Security issued a joint statement to warn the public against the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies. The statement mentioned that “ recently, some criminals seek to infringe on the legitimate rights of investors by issuing the so-called digital assets. They attract retail investors into fraudulent schemes in the name of ‘financial innovation’ and ‘blockchain’. ”