Tencent’s WeChat Blocks NFT-Linked Public Accounts as China Tightens Crypto Supervision

Tencent’s move is aimed at curbing the trade of risky and second-hand NFTs via WeChat.

Tencent’s WeChat Blocks NFT-Linked Public Accounts as China Tightens Crypto Supervision

Photo Credit: Reuters

WeChat has standardised and rectified public account policies around NFT trading

  • NFTs are not officially classified as digital assets in China
  • Tencent aims to curb circulation and trade of second hand NFTs
  • WeChat will continue to monitor NFT movements on its app

WeChat public accounts, linked to the trading of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), have been blocked by its parent company Tencent. Art Meta, iBox, and One Meta are some NFT trading platforms who now don't have access to their WeChat accounts. While the Chinese law has banned the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies, there is no clarity as yet on the legal status of NFTs in China. NFTs or non-fungible tokens are blockchain-based digital collectibles that are interactive in the metaverse and can be purchased using cryptocurrencies.

The move is aimed at curbing the trade of risky and second-hand NFTs via WeChat. The platform is multi-purpose in nature and provides instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment services across China.

In a statement, WeChat said, “in order to prevent the risk of virtual currency trading speculation, the WeChat public platform has recently standardised and rectified public accounts and small programs for speculation and secondary sales of digital collections.

As part of its refreshed policies, WeChat has instructed accounts dealing in “digital collection display and primary transactions” to provide a certificate of cooperation with a blockchain company that has been registered and approved by the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Small NFT-related apps running inside WeChat, also known as ‘Mini Programs', are allowed to only supports the display of digital collections and first-level gifts. There is no legal allowance supporting digital collection transactions and multi-level circulation via social networking apps in China.

“If any confrontation such as bypassing is found, the ability will be banned or removed from the shelves according to the degree of violation,” WeChat noted.

Tencent ‘s move indicates at China's increased monitoring of the crypto industry, a report by China's state-run media, Global Times, said on March 30.

Last year, China criminalised crypto trading and mining in the country. Chinese authorities are also focusing on crypto miners secretly operating from within its territories.

Last month, China imposed a fresh ban on raising funds using ‘virtual currency', deeming the activity illegal.

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Radhika Parashar
Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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