Through an update of its platform policies, WeChat, China’s leading social media network, has put a stop to all activity involving NFTs and crypto.
News of the policy update was most predominantly made public via Wu Blockchain, a Hong Kong-based crypto news reporter who posted a screenshot of the new guidelines on Twitter. In essence, the new policies state that any of the platform’s 1.1 billion active daily accounts which engage with the issuance, trading, and/or financing of crypto and NFTs, will fall foul of ‘illegal business,’ and will therefore become subject to platform restrictions and bans.
For now, the way in which such punishments will play out in practice remains rather ambiguous, as the policies state that accounts which break the new regulations will have to rectify their wrongdoings within a certain time limit, all whilst incurring account function restrictions. Alternatively, if the severity of the case is large enough, violating users will be permanently banned from the platform.
In addition, the policies also adhere to secondary market activity, as they state that ‘accounts that provide services or content related to the secondary transaction of digital collections shall also be dealt with in accordance with this article’.
Given China’s averse attitude towards the relatively unregulated Web3 space, WeChat is not the only major Chinese social media platform to discourage its users from engaging with the space. WhaleTalk, the country’s go-to website for digital collectibles, has been distancing itself from the tech since March. This is because of the unregulated risks it associates with the space, as well as the fact that officials in Beijing will not hesitate to crack down on its blockchain endeavours if anything appears to be out of line.