China’s stringent stance on cryptocurrencies has again come to the forefront as Sina Weibo, one of the country’s most popular social media platforms with a staggering 258 million daily active users, announced the removal of 80 influential crypto accounts. The move was executed in compliance with official legislation.
In an announcement on September 5th, Sina Weibo revealed that it had “proactively removed” 80 crypto influencer accounts that boasted over 8 million followers. These accounts were accuse of violating eight different regulations spanning the domains of telecommunications, finance, banking, online marketing, securities, exchanges, and internet safety concerning their promotion of cryptocurrencies.
Ongoing Crypto Account Purges
This action by Sina Weibo represents the latest in a series of periodic crypto account purges, a trend that commenced following China’s cryptocurrency ban in September 2021. In March, Weibo took down 131 accounts linked to crypto and stock trading activities.
The largest and most extensive crackdown occurred in August 2022 when the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) removed 12,000 influencer accounts on Weibo and Baidu. Furthermore, 51,000 promotional posts in relation to cryptocurrencies were remove during this sweep.
The CAC provided a clear rationale for its actions, emphasizing the importance of “protecting the property safety of the people by the law.” The aim was also to encourage “correct investment concepts” among netizens, boost awareness of risk prevention, discourage participation in virtual currency trading hype, and safeguard against personal property damage.
Similarly, Sina Weibo’s previous enforcement actions underscored their commitment to “increasing the crackdown on illegal securities activities” on their platform and “strictly controlling related violations of laws and regulations.”
China’s Crypto Crackdown Rationale
China’s crackdown on private crypto-related activities stems from various factors, including concerns about capital flight, money laundering, and the desire to preserve its state-run cryptocurrency initiatives. Unfortunately, these efforts have sometimes led to unintended consequences for non-Chinese investors caught in the crossfire.
As China continues to navigate the complex landscape of cryptocurrency regulation, the global crypto community remains vigilant, observing how these actions might impact the broader industry and the evolving regulatory environment within the country.