China continues to increase its hardline stance against cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency trading in the country has continued to thrive despite the cryptocurrency trading ban imposed last year. This is mainly due to the thriving OTC trading in China. Recognising this, Chinese authorities had issued an order earlier this week which banned cryptocurrency related events in any public space such as hotels and office buildings. In addition, WeChat accounts of prominent crypto media news outlets were also shut down. Notably, China has also banned domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in addition to exploring the possibility of banning access to international cryptocurrency exchanges through the Great China firewall.
Now, Tencent and Alibaba have decided to ban cryptocurrency transactions on their payment platforms WeChat Pay and AliPay. Presumably, this move may have come owing to government pressure to clamp down on cryptocurrency in the country. Notably, AliPay and WeChat serve 520 million and 1 billion people respectively, so it is obvious why the government wants to rein in these platforms. It will be interesting to see how these new measures from the government impact the cryptocurrency marketplace in the country.