Weibo, Zhihu, and Baidu—three major internet services in China—appear to be actively censoring Huobi, Binance, and OKEx, three of the most commonly used crypto exchanges for Chinese investors and consumers.
Searching for the exchanges or relevant keywords has generated zero results for users on Weibo, Zhihu, and Baidu. The lack of results has been noticed on both platforms’ desktop and mobile apps.
“Now, [when] you search Huobi, Binance, and OKEx on Baidu or Weibo, there’s no result shows on those platforms,” one Twitter user said earlier today.
Other terms like BTC and ETH are not censored, Decrypt confirmed.
What’s more, earlier this week, Weibo allegedly suspended several popular crypto-related accounts on its Twitter-like platform.
China’s mired relationship with crypto
The apparent censorship comes amid a period of troubling news for China’s crypto industry.
Government sources reportedly told the Chinese publication, Caixin, that the government is concerned about the harm crypto can do to uneducated investors. In addition, the government reportedly wants to put the vast amounts of electricity BTC mining demands to use elsewhere.
However, it’s not just BTC mining that’s come under fire in China of late.
Since 2017, there has been a government ban in place against cryptocurrency transactions. Last month, three of China’s most prominent payment institutions—the National Internet Finance Association of China, the China Banking Association, and the Payment and Clearing Association of China—doubled down on their government’s stance.
“Recently, cryptocurrency prices have skyrocketed and plummeted, and speculative trading of cryptocurrency has rebounded, seriously infringing on the safety of people’s property and disrupting the normal economic and financial order,” the group said in a combined statement.