Baidu has begun censoring cryptocurrency content on its platform. The China?s largest search engine has become the latest tech company to join the government in blockading crypto. The move follows a recent decision by WeChat to ban accounts that peddle crypto-related content. Meanwhile, Alibaba has distanced itself from the cryptocurrencies by prohibiting payments in crypto on its payments platform AliPay.
Local media report that the most popular crypto-related forums are no longer available on the Baidu Tieba. The forums are popularly known as Post Bar Services and they operate in a similar manner like the forums on Reddit. China Times reports that ?Digital Currency Bar? and ?Virtual Currency Bar? are among the censored forums.
Regulations and policies
Baidu concedes that the massive censorship is a culmination of pressure from the state. Current regulations demand that social media platform prohibit the peddling crypto-related content. The regulations are made and policed by the China National Fintech Risk Rectification Office.
The office is tasked with ensuring that all social media platforms toe the official line and adhere to the official policies. China Times quotes Baidu Tieba which admits that it had to follow the new measures.
The crypto content peddled online has been christened ?false propaganda? by the government. It insists that the content is usually misleading and has led to many losing millions to scammers. The government has insisted that it is working towards protecting the common people against the Fraud-infested market. However, some incensed companies have termed the censorship a stifling on innovation and denial of freedom.
It began with banning domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs)?
September last year, the government announced that it had banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto exchanges. Many commentators attributed the move to the huge number of scams that had been reported involving the ICOs. However, the net seems to be expanding and now its encompassing any content relating to the cryptocurrencies.
As a result, many crypto-related firms have moved to Singapore and even London but still contact customers in China. For this reason, the government has moved against all the social media platforms through which contact can happen.