China shuts down blockchain news websites, plans to ban internet access to 124 exchanges
In the latest crackdown by China’s top internet watchdog, Cyberspace Administrator of China (CAC), the China government plans to block news websites related to cryptocurrencies. On Tuesday, at least 8 media websites found their WeChat online account blocked, as reported by South China Morning Post.
Tencent, the parent company of WeChat, said in a statement released to SCMP, that they are blocking all accounts who have been seen to promote Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and speculate on cryptocurrency prices. The media includes:
- Jinse Finance
- Shenlian Finance
- Huobi news
- Token Club
- Wujie Blockchain
Some of these media have raised millions of dollars through investors. CAC further will block access to 124 foreign exchanges that provide cryptocurrency exchange service in China. To further tighten their control, domestic websites related to cryptocurrency, investments, and ICOs will also be shutting down. Even cryptocurrency related events will now be banned, although according to SCMP the ban applies to Beijing’s central Chaoyang district.
According to Jenny (full name hidden due to person’s wish), Editor of one of the biggest blockchain media in China,
“The ban is more towards ICOs than blockchain. To continue the media business most of the media companies will be staying away from ICOs and focus on blockchain projects and applications”.
She further added,
“By the end of the year, many useless tokens (aka shitcoins) would be dead”
New CAC Director against cryptocurrency?
China’s recent ban just comes a day after the CAC announced a new director, Zhuang Rongwen, who will be replacing the previous director Xu Lin. China’s cryptocurrency market boomed under the directorship of the former director Lu Wei in 2016, but he was replaced on corruption charges. Lu was formally charged this week with corruption, and allegedly having accepted “huge amounts” in bribes, according to state media.
China’s media ban boon for international cryptocurrency media
China plays a pivotal role in the cryptocurrency market. Until February 2018, China was the biggest cryptocurrency market in the world. But due to the Septemeber 2017 cryptocurrency trading ban, China has lost the status to South Korea.
Many of the ICO projects from mainland China will be moving overseas to friendly jusridisction, such as Singapore and South Korea. This would cause an increase in advertisement spending on the overseas cryptocurrency media companies.
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