Beijing blitz of crypto promotions and marketing underway

Cyberspace Administration of China closes accounts and removes to 'rectify the chaos'

China's internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) vowed on Tuesday to clean up what it sees as bad and blatantly misleading marketing of virtual currencies.

Beijing has repeatedly declared that using and mining virtual currencies are illegal in the Middle Kingdom, making related activity suspect from the get-go.

But that hasn't stopped some from trying to encourage Chinese netizens to invest.

"Some netizens are confused by false propaganda such as high returns on investment in virtual currency, and blindly participate in related trading activities, which brings damages and big losses of property," the CAC said (in Chinese).

The org said it had taken various measures to clean up misinformation, and accounts and websites that promote and hype virtual currencies and would continue to strengthen supervision of related activities that fall under the banner of "financial innovation" or "blockchain."

So far the CAC says it has closed 989 accounts on Twitter-analog Weibo, online forum Baidu Tieba, and messaging platform WeChat.

The CAC has urged major platforms to take on some of the work themselves, which it says the likes of Weibo and Baidu have done to the tune of 12,000 illegal accounts and 51,000 units of illegal information. Material claiming it is "easy to make money by investing in Bitcoin" is very much in the sites' sights.

Chinese web giant Tencent clamped down on discussing cryptocurrencies and NFTs on WeChat and messaging platform Weixin by amending its terms of service last June.

The cyber watchdog said it also had guided local authorities to interview over 500 business entities involved in virtual currency publicity, like those claiming to be "venture capital circles" and is shutting down 105 website platforms that fall afoul with marketing ploys or how-tos.

The CAC also vowed to continue to push against illegal financial activities related to virtual currency, which should surprise no one. Beijing has simultaneously been on an ongoing crypto crackdown and an effort to make its internet reflect so-called Chinese Communist Party values.

In late June, execs at a state-backed blockchain boosting initiative declared cryptocurrencies were "the biggest Ponzi scheme in human history." ®

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