China’s Guangzhou Development District, one of the first economic development zones in the country, has banned cryptocurrency promotional and publicity activities in the area. This comes on the heels of a similar notice issued in the Chaoyang District in Beijing.
Details of the Ban
The notice, as reported by the National Business Daily and South China Morning Post, was issued by the financial development bureau of Guangzhou Development District, notifying all “relevant units in the district” not to “undertake in[sic] any form of virtual currency promotion and publicity activities.”The notice also mandates that residents of the area report any such promotional activities to the appropriate authority immediately.
According to the notice, the ban is necessary to “protect the property rights and interest of the public, prevent the risk of money laundering, maintain the security and stability of the country’s financial system, and safeguard the legal status of the Chinese yuan.”
A similar notice was issued in the Chaoyang District in Beijing. As earlier reported by Unhashed, Chaoyang District released a statement banning commercial venues from hosting cryptocurrency-promotion activities after a foreign cryptocurrency exchange firm held an event in the district.
China’s War on Cryptocurrency
The continued crackdown on local Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading in China is no longer news. The government is continually issuing policies and directives aimed at blocking communication channels through which local investors can access and invest in initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other digital currency projects.
Following the initial ban on ICOs and exchanges last year, the Chinese government has taken steps to restrict access to crypto brokers using foreign IP addresses to carry on business in the country. Major cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitfinex, Houbi, and Binance are already unavailable to residents in the country.
Private entities are cooperating with the government to censor blockchain and cryptocurrency-related content in the media and restrict domestic cryptocurrency trading. Recently, WeChat shut down accounts of major cryptocurrency news outlets on its platform. ANT Financial, an affiliate company of Alibaba, is committing to monitoring crypto-trading on its platforms and will restrict and possibly block personal accounts that participate in over-the-counter (OTC) trading in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Last week, the People’s Bank of China, Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, and other top financial and Internet security watchdogs issued a warning against illegal fundraising activities for ICO projects.
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