China’s harsh stance on cryptocurrency has reached Baidu, a Chinese multinational specializing in artificial intelligence, search engine, and various other services. The company, founded in January 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu, has banned all the cryptocurrency-specific channels on the platform. The tech giant even removed all information concerning virtual currencies, bitcoin trading and ICOs, which forced the many crypto traders, ICO organizers and investors who were dependant on the services provided by Baidu for information have switched to using Facebook and Telegram.
The Baidu platform has been central to many project organizers who needed the service in order to continue their business activities such as ICO promotion.
A spokesperson for Baidu commented:
“At present, the company has increased supervision over digital currency, and according to relevant laws, regulations, and policies, it will not open the relevant post bars.”
The Beijing-based tech giant, that employees more than 40,000 people, is one of the largest internet and AI companies in the world, pulling in revenues around CNY 84.809 billion in 2017.
The Chinese authorities had started banning bitcoin trading and ICOs at the end of 2017, claiming that cryptocurrency went against the country’s best interest, and have since been on a crusade to extinguish the industry within their borders.
China’s regulatory bodies including the country’s central bank, the Peoples Bank of China (PBOC), stated it had successfully inhibited the spread of cryptos as well as digital assets-linked businesses within its jurisdiction and vowed to abolish all forms of corrupt crypto scams.
Since the crackdown many DLT-based digital asset traders and ICO project organizers have moved their business activities to the social media platform WeChat.
Recently though the app WeChat also started banning and restricting accounts which discuss crypto and blockchain news on its platform, beginning on August 23, 2018. The removal of the channels were in alignment with the directive of the Cyberspace Administration of China, which ordered all instant messaging apps to stop the spreading of information that is against national interest and public orders.