China Blocks the Search of Several Crypto-Related Keywords, Intensifying Crackdown

(Photo by Mohamed Hassan from PxHere)

China’s twitter-like social media platform Weibo and search engine Baidu have blocked a series of crypto-related keywords, as the government continues putting pressure on the cryptocurrency market.

The terms censored by the country’s two largest internet services include trading platforms Huobi, Binance, and OKEx. The search result reads “According to relevant laws, regulations, and policies, the results are not displayed.” Numerous crypto-related accounts on Weibo were also suspended over the past week.

“This is blocking the way for crypto trading platforms to provide services to domestic customers,” an insider of the industry says. Another analyst points out that this move serves to restrict the circulation of related information and prevent potential cryptocurrency transactions from the very beginning.

Mining activities are also facing growing pressure. Qinghai province today issued a notice saying that all existing cryptocurrency mining projects in the region must be shut down. Other local governments like Inner Mongolia and Sichuan have already implemented similar rules.

Although the country aims to become the global leader of blockchain and plans to roll out a digital yuan, China has been tightening controls and trying to put a lid on the crypto market frenzy.

In May, the authorities ruled that cryptos are not a real currency and payment companies can not provide services related to cryptocurrency transactions. They also warned that crypto transaction contracts are not protected by the law, and the losses caused shall be borne by the investors themselves.

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The Ministry of Public Security of China announced on Wednesday that the latest nationwide police operation successfully cracked down on crypto-related crimes, claiming that using cryptocurrency to provide money laundering services is a common approach in telecom fraud. More than 170 criminal gangs were knocked out and around 1,100 suspects were arrested.

The ministry later stated in a WeChat article that the government will continue clamping down on crypto-related crime.

On the same day, the Payment and Clearing Association of China (PCAC) issued a reminder on preventing payment risks, saying the anonymity, convenience, and global nature of crypto make it an important tool for cross-border money laundering and online scams.