Tencent’s WeChat Begins Crack Down on Digital Collection Transactions

Over ten official accounts related to digital collections in WeChat, a social app owned by Tencent, were suddenly banned on Tuesday, local media outlet Jiemian News reported.

The banned platforms are all small and medium-sized digital collection platforms. Huanhe and other leading platforms were not affected. These account closures follow the removal of WeChat mini programs related to digital collections.

Most of the platforms were banned due to the publishing, disseminating or engaging in digital collection business without legal license. Some other platforms were banned for alleged fraud.

In addition, WeChat has sent qualification examination reminders to some digital collection platforms, requiring them to provide certificates before April 1, otherwise they will also face the risk of being banned.

The reminder sent by WeChat’s official account, read: “After testing, we found your WeChat official account is suspected of having digital collection trading business, and you need to provide a relevant qualification certificate.”

The popularity of digital collections began in 2021. This new concept of collection, called NFT in other countries, originated from blockchain technology and provides ownership certificates for digital content. When developing in China, in order to weaken the financial attribute of NFT, it is usually referred to as “digital collection”.

With the influx of leading Internet companies, many small and medium-sized platforms have entered this field, and WeChat’s official account and groups have become an important camps for digital collections. However, there is some speculation about whether or not digital collections can be traded.

In this large-scale ban, according to the official qualification reminder of WeChat, the social app is taking aim at digital collection transactions, not the digital collection itself.

At present, the two largest digital collection platforms in China are Ant Group’s Jingtan and Tencent‘s Huanhe. Neither of them are involved in digital collection transactions.

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