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Searching for the terms Binance, OKEx, and Huobi on Chinese search engines presently yields no results.
China’s stance toward decentralized cryptocurrency trading appears to be getting even tougher. Chinese journalist Colin Wu and crypto news site 8BTCNews have both claimed that as of Wednesday, search results for some of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges are pulling up zero results.
Those in China who searched for bitcoin exchanges on search engines reported that the results are unavailable. However, a compound search such as “Binance Academy” or “Huobi Research Center” appears to be getting past the censors.
If the situation persists, it appears that this is the next move in Beijing’s escalating control of cryptocurrency-related material on social media. Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging website with over 530 million monthly active users, blocked accounts belonging to many notable Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrency-related content providers on Monday.
Colin Wu, or Wu Blockchain on Twitter, has noted that searches for Binance, Huobi and OKEx are not showing up for users of Baidu and Sogou, two major Chinese search engines. In addition, both Wu and 8BTCNews claim that Weibo has imposed the same black-out measures, with Wu noting that Zhihu — an analog to Quora — has also followed in step.
Censorship efforts are just one component of China’s endeavour to prohibit other cryptocurrency operations, such as mining and fundraising, which it considers unlawful. Financial and payment institutions’ offering of cryptocurrency-related services, as well as token financing platforms that might be used as fiat-to-crypto gateways, are among the areas being targeted.
The mining crackdown has centred on the government’s worries about the industry’s carbon footprint, particularly in places such as Inner Mongolia. At least three mining businesses, BTC.TOP, Huobi, and HashCow, have indicated that they would cease operations in the mainland.
Representatives from the targeted exchanges have made no public announcements about the alleged social media restriction measures as of yet.
Binance was unable to comment on the subject, but did state that “Binance does not currently hold exchange operations in China.”