Chinese Regulators Clamp Down on Virtual Currency Publicity Stunts

With the rise of virtual currency, various illegal activities including speculation, publicity stunts, and fraud have become increasingly fierce. According to an announcement issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China on August 9, since the beginning of this year, the regulator has introduced measures to clean up illegal information, accounts and websites that have constituted so-called “publicity stunts” regarding virtual currency.

The regulatory body has urged major platforms to maintain strict attacks on the speculation of virtual currency transactions, and it has intensified self-examination of information and accounts aimed at inducing virtual currency investment.

According to user agreements, Chinese social media platform Weibo, internet giant Baidu, and other websites have closed 12,000 illegal accounts such as “ICE Blizzard Entertainment Founder” and “Currency Circle Expert.” Such websites have cleaned up more than 51,000 units of illegal information, such as “investing in Bitcoin to make money easily.”

The national cyberspace watchdog has closed 989 accounts on Weibo, Baidu Tieba and WeChat that induced users to invest in virtual currency, virtual assets and digital assets under the banner of “financial innovation” and “blockchain.”

In addition, the body has instructed local network information departments interviewing more than 500 entities involved in the publicity stunts and speculation of virtual currency. 105 websites dedicated to advocating virtual currency marketing, publishing tutorials to explain cross-border currency speculation and virtual currency mining were closed as a result.

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For the next step, the Cyberspace Administration of China will continue to cooperate with relevant departments to strengthen the crackdown on illegal financial activities related to virtual currency.