The policy also covers secondary NFT trading, as the company says, “Accounts that provide services or content related to the secondary transaction of digital collections will also be dealt with.”
WeChat, which is the most popular social media site in China, has changed its rules to ban accounts that give access to services related to crypto or nonfungible tokens (NFT).
Under the new rules, accounts that are used to issue, trade, or finance crypto and NFTs will be limited or shut down. These accounts will be considered “illegal businesses.”
The policy also covers secondary NFT trading. The company says that “accounts that provide services or content related to the secondary transaction of digital collections shall also be treated in accordance with this article.”
Wu Blockchain (Colin Wu), a crypto news reporter in Hong Kong, wrote about the move on Monday. He talked about how important it was, since more than 1.1 billion Chinese people use WeChat every day.
As for punishments, the new policy says, “Once these violations are found, the WeChat public platform will, depending on how bad they are, order the violating official accounts to fix the problem within a certain amount of time and limit some of the account’s functions until the permanent account is banned.”
Between May and September of last year, the Chinese government banned the local crypto market in stages. But the timing of WeChat’s most recent policy change could mean that the platform has been letting some crypto activity happen without noticing it since then.
Also, there is still some uncertainty about how to regulate NFTs in the country because they can be bought with fiat. Still, companies and platforms usually don’t let second-hand trading happen to avoid compliance problems that could come up as a result of the financialization of tech.
In general, officials don’t like NFTs. In April, the China Banking Association, the China Internet Finance Association, and the Securities Association of China issued a joint statement warning the public about the “hidden risks” of investing in these assets.
Popular platforms like WeChat and WhaleTalk, which is owned by the Ant group, have been moving away from the tech since March, when both were said to have started removing or limiting NFT platforms from their networks due to a lack of clear rules and fear of a crackdown by Beijing.
Even so, a local news story from Thursday showed that the number of digital collectible platforms in China has grown by five times since February 2022, to more than 500.