(Yicai Global) Aug. 24 – Tencent Holdings and Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, the operators of China's two largest mobile payment platforms, will both step up efforts to investigate individual and corporate accounts involved in cryptocurrency trading following a recent regulatory crackdown on the sector.
Ant Financial's Alipay will limit payment transfer functions for the concerned accounts, the Hangzhou-based firm said yesterday. Tencent's WeChat Pay operator TenPay will monitor daily transactions and directly intercept any illegal trading.
The development follows Tencent's decision yesterday to shut down a number of public accounts on its social app WeChat after they were alleged to have illegally raised funds through initial coin offerings and enabled virtual currency transactions.
Many popular accounts distributing information on blockchain, such as Jinse Finance, Tokenclub, Bishijie and Huobi News, violated rules governing communication tools for public information services, Tencent said in a statement previously.
China's central bank the People's Bank of China has made persistent efforts to regulate and clear up illegal financial activities including virtual currency trading, with a focus on payment and settlement. PBOC has talked more than once to third-party payment platforms including Tenpay and Ant Financial, ordering them not to offer any services related to virtual currencies such as BitCoin.
Alipay has identified and closed some 3,000 accounts engaged in virtual currency trading so far. The operator will also offer education on risk prevention for its users and remind them not to be misled by advertising, Ant Financial confirmed.
Editor: William Clegg