Chinese search engines block results for top crypto exchanges


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China’s stance on decentralized cryptocurrency trading appears to be getting tougher. Chinese journalist Colin Wu and crypto news site 8BTCnews both claimed that search results for some of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges returned no results on June 9th.

The staff at Cointelegraph in China have searched the search engines for cryptocurrency exchanges themselves and have confirmed that the results are inaccessible. However, a compound search like “Binance Academy” or “Huobi Research Center” still seems to be censored.

Screenshot with results for “Binance Academy”. Source: Cointelegraph China employees, June 9th
Screenshot showing results for “Huobi Research Center”. Source: Cointelegraph China employees, June 9th

If the situation continues, this appears to be the latest move in Beijing’s increasing censorship of cryptocurrency-related information on social media. On June 7, Weibo – China’s Twitter-like microblogging service with over 530 million monthly active users – suspended accounts of several popular Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto-related content creators.

Colin Wu or Wu Blockchain on Twitter noted that searches for Binance, Huobi and OKEx are not showing up for users of Baidu and Sogou, two major Chinese search engines. Additionally, both Wu and 8BTCnews claim that Weibo has imposed the same lockdown measures with Wu note that Zhihu – an analogue of Quora – also followed in lockstep.

Censorship measures are only part of China’s attempt to restrict various cryptocurrency activities, including mining and fundraising issues that the latter believe to be illegal. Target areas include the provision of services by financial and payment institutions related to cryptocurrency and token funding platforms that could be used as fiat-to-crypto gateways.

The crackdown on mining has focused on government concerns about the industry’s carbon footprint, particularly in areas like Inner Mongolia. At least three mining companies – BTC.TOP, Huobi and HashCow – have announced that they will cease operations on the mainland.

So far, officials from the targeted exchanges have not made any public announcements about the apparent censorship measures on social media.

Binance was unable to comment on the situation, but noted “that Binance currently does not have any stock exchange transactions in China”.