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Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on May 7, 2019

WeChat quietly bans cryptocurrency fundraising

And no trading either!

WeChat quietly bans cryptocurrency fundraising
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

The Chinese equivalent of WhatsApp, WeChat, has updated its terms of service to ban merchants from fundraising by using tokens or cryptocurrencies.

The Tencent-operated chat messaging app quietly revised its policy last month; the new policy will take effect on May 31. Merchants violating the update will have their accounts terminated.

A Google-translated version of its new policy states that WeChat users must not “engage in token issuing financing and virtual currency trading platforms directly or in disguise.” The update also forbids users from investing in precious metals (via trading platforms), as well as illegal securities and futures.

Tough times for Tencent

WeChat’s parent company, Tencent, has also been hit by China’s stringent cryptocurrency laws over the last 12 months.

Last year, WeChat had to ban at least eight cryptocurrency media outlets for violating Chinese law by publishing virtual currency trading information and hyping up initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Last year, Tencent also banned cryptocurrency trading on WeChat, it began monitoring accounts to block any cryptocurrency related activity in real-time.

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