China’s 1st Sino-Chain Initiative- Censoring App Store and Weibo
Ever since China decided to go all-in blockchain in the last month, we’ve seen numerous trends taking place around the country, with all directions pointing towards a Sino-chain initiative (Sino-blockchain for short)
Since the blockchain frenzy in China following President Xi Jinping’s endorsement in October (Between, check out Xi Jinping’s full speech –contexualized and translated here) at the 18th Collective Study of the Chinese Political Bureau, we have seen various reactions from the markets and world leaders
Internally in China, the local officials have been taking the statement as a chance to parade and pump their own chest for blockchain in their local region, such as when a local politician in China’s Sichuan – a major bitcoin mining hub, advocated for Sichuan to remain attractive to the crypto mining industry.
There were also evidence that officials frantically deleted posts on Weibo, China’s social media, that claim the technology is a scam, signaling a sign of China’s turning stance on blockchain. Xuexi Qiangguo, China’s most downloaded app on Apple’s App Store, was also planning to feature educational content on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).
Censorship Starting in App Stores
However, in the latest updates, we are seeing some rising trends in what appears to be slight polishes on the homegrown cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses.
For one, 11 blockchain-related listed companies just came under investigation of Shenzhen Stock Exchange, having to clarify their blockchain efforts to the regulators. This began in November 4th, when the China Securities Regulatory Commission decided to initiate an investigation into due to the suspected illegal information disclosure.
The inquiry letter sent by the exchange focused on three topics: disclosure of the specific mode of blockchain business, including application scenarios, profit models; clarification of the business progress, including talents, technical reserves, investment funds and expected revenue; tips on operation risks.
Additionally, the inquiry lso asked profits generated from the projects and how much the realized profits and revenue from the projects affect the firm’s total profits and revenue over the last year and the first three quarters of 2019.
Secondly, just yesterday, there was also news that the Apple App Store in China has restricted the use of “Bitcoin” keyword.
According to some sources, one app that had the word “Bitcoin” in its title and description has been around for 2 years. However, when it was updating to its newest version, suddenly the creators were notified of this violation. Once the word “Bitcoin” was removed from the app, the reviews dropped the violation notice.
Lastly, which also occurred today, Global Coin Research has learned that Weibo has restricted the words “blockchain” and “fry coins”. “Fry coins” in Chinese, colloquially, refers to pump and dump coins.
Weibo users whom were attempting to publish a post using the word “blockchain” and “fry coins” were notified that they couldn’t push the post, and that the reason for the failure was “there is information in the content that violates relevant laws and regulations or the “Weibo Community Rulings” and the current operation cannot be performed.
This to us signal that the technology companies have been receiving demands to curb the types of blockchain and coin information on the internet. It’s mentioned in adjacent to this news that People’s Daily, the official CPC’s newspaper, has been warning individuals of scammers since President Xi’s public support for blockchain. While in the short termit may be a positive and may remove some malicious actors, nevertheless, it ultimately makes us to ponder as to when and under what circumstances these words may resurface again.
Ultimately, it is important to realize that while China is increasingly pushing for blockchain technology, it will only advance the technology that serves the country and the regulators’ needs primarily- a Sino-chain.
It was alarming to see that more exchange founders were looking to leave the country than before, as it is very uncertain what this sino-chain will bring about to the existing crypto ecosystem and newcomers.