The Hangzhou-based Alipay mobile payment processing service, owned by the multi-national conglomerate Alibaba, has banned accounts connected with over-the-counter (OTC) Bitcoin trading, as has been reported by Beijing News in the morning of August 24. The news reports that Alipay will start to restrict or even outright ban accounts that propagate OTC cryptocurrency trading.
The Coin Telegraph reports that Alipay has decided to closely observe suspicious accounts and install an inspection system for key websites and accounts to prevent further OTC trading incidents on the payment platform.
After the Chinese government banned crypto exchanges from providing service to Chinese citizens, traders had to resort to other means of trading, and thus back-alley transactions like OTC cryptocurrency trading.
Red Li, the co-founder of 8Btc, a popular China-based community of crypto and blockchain enthusiasts, confirmed this restriction when he posted on his Twitter account, “#alipay is blocking accounts involved in bitcoin otc trading.”
Ant Financial, which handles Alipay, views “virtual currency trading” as a serious risk to its users for which it has not involved crypto exchange services as of now. It plans to “resolutely” strike down suspicious accounts that are involved in virtual currency-related transactions or business operations. Ant Financials have also decided to create a “risk prevention education” module for its users to “remind users not to be deceived by various false propaganda, to recognize the risks of virtual currency transactions, and to avoid the possible losses suffered.”
This move is just another instance of China’s relentless cryptocurrency aversion where the government is trying to thwart the propagation of cryptocurrencies seen as a threat to China’s traditional systems. The governmental organization also stated its plans to introduce monitoring systems that would ensure the inability of overseas cryptocurrency exchanges to give the slip to the country’s “great firewall.”
Moreover, citing new governmental regulations, Chinese technology giant Tencent has banned over eight crypto-centric news outlets on its WeChat mobile platform, a primary mode of communication in the country. Tencent stated that it did so on account of suspicion regarding accounts “publishing information related to initial coin offerings (ICOs),” along with spreading crypto-related hype.
It has also been revealed that Beijing’s Chaoyang district has banned local hotels, shopping malls and office buildings from hosting crypto-related events.
Even though China seems disinclined towards cryptocurrencies, there still are governmental organizations that have openly endorsed and financially supported blockchain startups which have the potential to revamp the existing Chinese legacy systems.