It seems like tech giants in China are preparing for a complete government crackdown on cryptocurrencies, Web3, NFTs, and related technologies.
China’s Interesting Crypto History
China is not a country known for being “open-minded” to new ideas; China is one of the most important markets globally. The Chinese authorities understand this, so they ensure that you’ll need to play by the rules they set for you if you want to do business in China or gain access to its over 1.4 billion consumers.
To put it lightly, China has had a “fractured” relationship with blockchain-related technologies, especially cryptocurrencies. But over the last few months, we’ve witnessed gradual “improvements” as the country has allowed some activities in the NFT and Web3 space by state-owned or state-backed organizations.
If there’s one subset of companies in China that have had to tread lightly in their dealings with the Chinese authorities, it is the tech giants. China understands how much power technology companies have and how they hold a critical piece that can make or break social order within the country.
To effectively compete against Western counterparts, China empowered a handful of tech companies in the late 90s and early 2000s, and now these companies are big enough to compete globally. Lately, Chinese tech companies have been spooked as a handful of them have begun changing user policies concerning crypto technology, and some have moved to remove crypto-related accounts on their platforms.
China’s Social Media Giants
Over the weekend, a considerable amount of leading social media companies in China updated their policies to remove or restrict NFTs from the platforms. Most of these companies blamed a lack of clarity by the government, and the last thing they want is a crackdown by the powers that be in Beijing.
WeChat, a popular Chinese social media platform, reportedly removed a plethora of digital collectible accounts on the platform due to “rule violations.” WhaleTalk, Ant group’s digital collectible platform, hastily updated its policy to deliver extra punishments to users who use over-the-counter desks for NFT trading.
According to reports from a local news network, some Cryptocurrency platforms in China also had their accounts removed from popular social media platforms or official apps deleted from application stores. No company wants to fall on the Chinese government’s bad side, so we see frantic decisions like these being taken to avoid issues before they occur.
What does this mean for NFTs in China?
Although cryptocurrencies are entirely banned in China, the government there has not shown any interest in prohibiting the use, ownership, and trading of NFTs – at least not yet. Over the last few months, a considerable amount of tech giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, moved to file NFT-related patents.