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.
Urgh, Wechat just updated its payment policy .. merchant can’t serve any token issuance/fund raising or crypto trading activities, otherwise account will be terminated
Given most OTC transactions are happening in wechat, this may impact local liquidity to quite some extent pic.twitter.com/TdNIO6cggS
— Dovey Wan 🗝 🦖 (@DoveyWan) May 7, 2019
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.