Taobao, popular Chinese e-commerce site and a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, will ban the listing of services for cryptocurrencies or ICOs. The e-commerce giant updated its policy to “increase control of derivative services of digital products generated based on blockchain technology.”
The Hangzhou-based company already had in place a ban on cryptocurrency miners and mining consultations. The update “changed the explicit definition of the scope of virtual currency generation.” This means that any product or service that relates to a virtual currency generated on a blockchain. This includes the sale of assets or tokens generated through blockchain like those for blockchain games and other utilities. The ban also includes services like marketing, consultancy, and business planning; as long as it has to do with cryptos or Initial Coin Offerings.
The new rules which Taobao says is “to standardize the market management order of Taobao’s online shopping platform” will take effect on April 17th, 2018. The company has followed in the footsteps of Facebook, Google, and Mailchimp who have all announced similar bans in recent times. The company based its ban on the prevailing laws in China which does not encourage cryptocurrency-related activities. The rule read:
“Taobao will follow the relevant laws and regulations of the State and stipulate the rules governing Taobao’s ban on the sale of goods. The relevant terms of the interpretation are changed.”
Along with the new regulations, the company often called the eBay of China stipulated various penalties for those who violate the rules.
The extension of the ban is somewhat surprising given that neither China nor parent company Alibaba has moved against blockchain operations. On the contrary, Alibaba is leading efforts in blockchain research and development showcased by the record number of blockchain patents they boast of, second only to Peoples Bank of China. The Chinese government on their part recently added to a $1billion blockchain fund.
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