China has crypto in its crosshairs yet again. Nearly a year after the government banned initial coin offerings and shut down domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, it is again tightening the screws on the industry. Censors have blocked a number of blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused accounts from WeChat, the popular social media service. WeChat, as well as online payment service Ant Financial, have announced that they will restrict or ban cryptocurrency-related transactions. Financial regulators have instructed stores, hotels and other businesses in downtown Beijing not to host cryptocurrency-related speeches, events, or activities. The South China Morning Post reports that authorities will block access to 124 websites operated by offshore cryptocurrency exchanges that had provided trading services to Chinese users. And, according to local reports over the weekend, Baidu will restrict or ban cryptocurrency-related content on its Reddit-like online platform.
Despite all this, “many industry insiders” tell the Wall Street Journal that blockchain technology is still thriving in China. The government recognizes its long-term value, Jehan Chu, co-founder of a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency investment firm, told the Journal. “Instead, they're trying to reform it and clean it up so they can roll it out in China the way they rolled out the internet, their own way with their own rules.” In other words, it’s not that the Chinese government doesn’t like blockchains—it just doesn’t like blockchains it can’t control.
Geopolitical Futures has been pointing out that the more China cracks down the weaker Xipeng actually is... that they're coming down hard on Crypto at the moment could be as much about current economic conditions as it is about crypto.