Hong Kong-based media have reported that the country’s major search engines and social media networks do not appear to be presenting paid adverts for products or companies associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Reports have alleged that the censorship of cryptocurrency ads may date back to the announcement that The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) would ban initial coin offerings (ICOs) during September 2017.
Chinese Online Media Platforms Ban Crypto Ads
A report published by Hong Kong-based media outlet, South China Morning Post, has alleged that leading Chinese search engines and social media platforms have stopped displaying sponsored posts and paid advertisements relating to cryptocurrencies.
The report states that keywords such as ‘bitcoin’, ‘cryptocurrency’, and ‘ICO’ appear to predominantly elicit journalistic content when searched on popular Chinese platforms Baidu and Weibo, whilst yielding an apparent absence of sponsored content. Weibo has confirmed that it does not presently allow advertising relating to cryptocurrencies, whilst Baidu is yet to comment on the matter.
Analysts are speculating that the censorship of crypto ads may have begun following the introduction of the PBOC’s crackdown on ICOs in September 2017.
Facebook Follows China’s Lead
The report was published just days after Facebook introduced new rules banning “ads that promote […] binary options, initial coin offerings, or cryptocurrency.” The social media network accuses said ads of “promot[ing] financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices,” claiming that “there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”
The crypto community appears to have largely welcomed Facebook’s new policy, with many bitcoin veterans viewing social media as an advertising medium embraced by Ponzi schemes and opportunists seeking to cash in on the speculative boom surrounding virtual currencies will little intention of delivering robust services or platforms.
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