China's popular social media platform Weibo has banned 80 high-profile crypto influencers, each with over eight million followers. This appears to be a continued effort to clamp down on cryptocurrency activities, according to a Thursday report by the South China Morning Post.
The move is in compliance with local laws that aim to curb speculative trading and the promotion of virtual assets.
Back in August 2022, Chinese internet regulators ordered the removal of thousands of crypto-related accounts and posts across various platforms. As reported by U.Today, a slew of prominent crypto personalities were also banned from Weibo back in 2021.
Weibo stated that it will continue to monitor user complaints and investigate illicit cryptocurrency trading.
Beijing's unyielding crypto policy
The ban reflects Beijing's ongoing stringent stance on cryptocurrency despite the industry's growth in other regions like Hong Kong.
In 2013, China's central bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions, marking one of the country's earliest moves against cryptocurrencies. The government's stance hardened in 2017 when it banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) and shut down local cryptocurrency exchanges. By September 2021, top government agencies caused the exodus of local miners despite China being a top Bitcoin mining hub in the past.
Crypto crime persists in China
Still, crypto crime remains rampant in China. In July, Chinese authorities arrested 21 individuals involved in a massive Tether money laundering operation. The group bought low-priced USDT and sold it at a profit via WeChat groups, aiding in the laundering of illegal funds.