Taobao, a subsidiary of Chinese eCommerce Giant Alibaba, has updated their policy that banned cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and other crypto –related services and assets. Taobao is an online platform where people and small business can put items up for sale within China.
Taobao previously had a ban that prohibited selling miners for cryptocurrencies and offering mining tutorials. But they now have banned any product or service that use blockchain.
The policy also bars selling virtual assets based on blockchain technology such as CryptoKitties and similar other projects. The new rules will come into effect starting from April 17th.
Taobao has stated that the latest bans from People’s Bank of China are the reason for this crackdown. In September 2017, PBoC banned all ICOs and in early 2018, they banned all cryptocurrencies. Even though there is no ban on mining, a great number of miners are seeking to relocate their operations outside country borders.
Taobao has instated a penalty system to punish those that breach these new rules. After PBoC’s ban on ICOs last year, most of the advertisers have managed to get around this ban by changing the spelling, such as changing the ‘O’ to ‘0’(zero) when spelling ICO.
Even though China has a very strict stance against cryptocurrencies, a majority of traders are positive about a shift in attitude in the following months. Yi Gang, the new head of PBoC’s even said “Bitcoin is a currency that provides freedom to anyone that uses it,” and put emphasis on the cryptocurrency’s transparency.
Although Taobao banned blockchain related services, there is no official ban on blockchain in China. On the contrary, the Chinese government has been very supportive of blockchain technology. It just launched a $1 Billion fund for investing in blockchain startups, and it currently is the country that filed the largest number of Blockchain patents in 2017.