WeChat, China’s top social media platform, has updated its policies in an attempt to ban accounts that provide access to crypto or NFT-related services. 

Under the new regulations, accounts involved with the issuance, trading, and financing of crypto and NFTs will fall under the “illegal business” category. 

The policy also covers secondary NFT trading, with the company noting 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.”

Hong Kong-based crypto news reporter Wu Blockchain (Colin Wu) highlighted the significance of the action given that WeChat has more than 1.1 billion daily users in China on June 20.

The new policy stated that in terms of punishments, “once such violations are discovered, the WeChat public platform will, according to the severity of the violations, order the violating official accounts to rectify within a time limit and restrict some functions of the account until the permanent account is banned.”

Between May to September last year, the Chinese government rolled out a phased ban on the local crypto sector. However, given the timing of the latest policy update on WeChat, it suggests that some crypto activity has gone unnoticed since then.

Furthermore, the assets can be purchased in fiat, hence, there is still a regulatory gray area in the country concerning NFTs.

Overall, the officials have frowned upon NFTs, with the China Banking Association, the China Internet Finance Association, and the Securities Association of China  announcing a joint statement in April warning the public about the “hidden risks” of investing in the assets.

Since March, popular platforms such as WeChat and Ant group-owned WhaleTalk have been distancing themselves from the tech after they both reportedly began removing or restricting NFT platforms from their networks due to fear of a crackdown from Beijing and lack of regulatory clarity.

Nevertheless, a local media report published on June 16 highlighted data showing the number of digital collectible platforms in China has grown to over 500, a 5X increase since February 2022.

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