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.
#Tencent‘s WeChat has shut down accounts of #NFT platforms or secondary markets including One Meta, Art Meta, and iBox.
According to CAC’s regulation, blockchain services providers should submit registration records in 10 days.
Wechat also removed NFT Applets.#China #Meta pic.twitter.com/JTQDKzqEKe
— CN Wire (@Sino_Market) March 30, 2022
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.
Tencent’s WeChat which has over 1.2 billion users began to block #NFT accounts in large numbers (Chinese regulations..)
— oldbies.eth ::) (@NFT_Oldbie) March 30, 2022
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.