Cryptocurrency-related advertisements have stopped appearing on Chinese search engine Baidu and social media platform Weibo, amidst reports of China’s government tightening cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering regulations on Sunday, Feb. 4.
The Financial Times of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) was told today, Feb. 4, that China will further increase regulatory pressure on cryptocurrency exchange sites and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Chinese news site Sina reported.
In September 2017, China banned both ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges. Some of those businesses responding by relocating off the mainland to Hong Kong. Now, Sina reports, Chinese government plans to mitigate that by banning domestic and foreign “virtual currency exchange websites.”
Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post news site reported that when the terms, in Chinese, “bitcoin,” “cryptocurrency,” and “ICO” were searched on Chinese search-engine Baidu and microblog Weibo, no obvious paid sponsored content came up alongside the expected organic results.
While Baidu had stopped advertising cryptocurrency-related searches back in August 2016, it is unclear when they started allowing them again, and they have not confirmed any new crypto-based advertising block. Weibo has confirmed that they have banned cryptocurrency-related advertising.
In a similar turn of events, Facebook banned ads of cryptocurrencies and ICOs last week, citing the large amount of fintech companies on Facebook’s platform that are “[not operating] in good faith.”
Facebook’s decision to ban these ads was received favorably on the /r/Bitcoin sub-Reddit page, where users commented on the many scams they have seen for crypto on social media.
In reference to scam Facebook ads, user erisiamk wrote,
“Anyone who would actually buy because they were convinced by a Facebook ad will probably not research crypto properly and end up making more bad decisions and spreading more FUD.”
By Molly Jane Zuckerman