China’s cryptocurrency crackdown is taking more and more ugly turns with every passing day. Yesterday we had heard that our neighbor is going to block the offshore cryptocurrency exchanges using its Great Firewall, and now we’re hearing that private companies are also joining hands with government in the procedure. The titans of Chinese fintech industry, namely Tencent (WeChat Pay) and Ant Financial Services (Alipay), have declared that they will not allow the use of their platforms for transactions related to cryptocurrencies.
In a statement published shortly after China’s announcement of ban on foreign crypto exchanges Tencent said that it will prohibit all transactions related to cryptocurrencies on its platform. Moreover, it it will also conduct real-time monitoring of all transactions and risk assessment on regular basis to flag any suspicious transactions.
A similar statement was also released by Ant Financial Services, the parent company of Alipay. Spokesperson from the company told local news outlet BJ News that depending on the situation it will restrict or permanently ban Alipay accounts involved in crypto transactions. He said:
“Alipay has always adhered to the principle of not providing services to virtual currency transactions. We will continue to closely monitor over-the-counter trading activities on a daily basis. Once we find any suspicious crypto-related transactions, we will take appropriate measures immediately, including but not limited to: suspension of fund transfer functionality of any Alipay accounts used by companies for crypto-related transactions.”
Alipay is said to have more than 520 million users, while number of WeChat Pay monthly active users is pegged at more than a billion. Recently WeChat had also banned crypto and blockchain related media accounts from its service without any warning or explanation.
Technically, the ban of these companies or the government can’t put a complete embargo on crypto trade in Mainland. If people want cryptocurrencies, they’ll get them anyhow (i.e. through over-the-counter methods). The only thing that bans of this kind accomplish is turning good people into bad people. War against cryptocurrencies is a losing battle, but if some governments still want to fight it then it’s their wish!