Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent have both renamed their non-fungible token (NFT) offerings as “digital collectibles”, as Beijing strengthened its supervision of Internet businesses’ NFT platforms.
Alipay, the mobile payments operation of Alibaba financial technology affiliate Ant Group, now calls its latest NFT artworks as a “digital collectible”. Meanwhile, on Huanhe – the NFT platform launched by Tencent in August – all of the items on offer are now referred to as digital collectibles.
“We do not tolerate any illegal activities, including those related to cryptocurrencies,” said Tencent in a statement on Monday. Ant Group “firmly opposes any form of illicit activity conducted in the name of digital collectibles” or “any form of price speculation on digital collectibles”, said a representative of AntChain, the Chinese fintech giant’s blockchain technology platform.
The Huanhe team also said in an interview today that the digital collectibles business on the platform requires the real name of registrants and will also review of content posted on the platform. The platform does not allow the transfer of digital products among users.
As a new blockchain product, NFT has been gaining popularity. While Beijing has cracked down heavily on the trading and mining of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, NFTs have remained a grey area. Alipay’s mini program “AntChain Fensili” is one of the hottest NFT distribution platforms in China, and has launched more than dozens of copyrighted NFT works. Tencent’s Huanhe was also once regarded as the first NFT trading platform in China.
AntChain once emphasized that “NFT is essentially different from homogenized tokens such as virtual currency and does not have any monetary attributes such as payment function.”