Some Chinese Crypto Websites ‘Still Operational,’ Says State Media
Some Chinese sites are “still selling” crypto, raising funds in tokens like bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), and circulating crypto-related news stories from within the Mainland, a report has claimed, citing evidence from government-aligned agencies.
Per the state-owned news agency Xinhua, recent proclamations from the central People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and government organs have “clarified that virtual currency-related business activities classify as illegal financial activities,” and that parties who “produce or circulate marketing and publicity for overseas virtual currency exchanges must be held accountable in accordance with the law.”
Xinhua claims it has unearthed evidence that some Mainland websites are still promoting crypto, often “under the guise of blockchain and metaverse-related activities.
However, others are more flagrantly offering crypto tutorials, organizing live in-person or online “events,” to “attract traffic to various overseas”-based crypto providers.
The news agency gave examples of websites that compiled news from recent crypto projects from around the world, as well as “trading tutorials” to teach “netizens how to speculate on coins” using “hands-on” methods.
Another provided an “online registration” function for traders accessing overseas platforms and check on “the exchange activities of virtual currency projects.”
Yet others contained links to “online presentations” from crypto “project leader,” and provided an online “gathering place” for “big shots” in the crypto space – as well as “crypto hype”-promoting articles.
The news agency quoted an expert from a Shanghai Pudong-based “reform and development research institute” as stating,
“Since the intensive crackdowns on virtual currency transactions since in 2017, China’s domestic virtual currency trading and issuance platforms have been cleaned up and banned. But many virtual currency-related websites and [social media groups] are still active.”
The news agency said it had seen evidence of sites that required visitors to pay hundreds of USD as subscription fees or appeared to request visitors to make crypto contributions to upkeep costs.
Deng Jianpeng, a professor at the Beijing-based Central University of Finance and Economics’ Law School, as quoted as explaining:
“If a [domestic] internet website recommends [investing in] virtual currency, it can be determined to be in violation of the law.”
The PBoC and multiple regulatory bodies recently issued a joint statement, signed by a number of ministries, warning that individuals found to be involved in “marketing, promotion, payment and settlement and technical support”-related activities for overseas trading platforms and providers would be “investigated in accordance with the law.”
The Xinhua article concluded that the crackdown should extend to “relevant” social media and chat app platforms including “WeChat accounts, Weibo pages and pages on other platforms.”
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