Alibaba Payment Affiliate Bans OTC Bitcoin Trading

News, Regulation | August 24, 2018 By:

Ant Financial, the online payments affiliate of Internet giant Alibaba, has banned over-the-counter (OTC) bitcoin trading on its Alipay mobile app.

Ant Financial’s Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payments platform. Alipay operates with more than 65 financial institutions, including Visa and MasterCard, to provide payment services for Taobao and Tmall, as well as more than 460,000 online and local Chinese businesses.

Ant Financial told Beijing News on Friday that users of Alipay are not allowed to use the financial network to trade bitcoin in OTC and unregulated markets.

“Alipay and Ant Financial has been and will continue to closely monitor over-the-counter trading activities and we will take appropriate measures if some transactions that we suspect are related to virtual currencies,” Ant Financial’s representative said. “We will also establish an inspection system to monitor key websites and accounts.”

Following the crypto ban last year, local crypto exchange operators shifted their businesses overseas but continued to offer crypto-to-fiat OTC trading. In January of this year, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) governor Pan Gongsheng suggested the Chinese government to shutdown OTC platforms and exchanges within mainland China to ensure that cryptocurrency trading ban is strictly enforced.

Earlier this week, the China National FinTech Risk Rectification Office announced that it will be blocking 124 overseas crypto trading platforms from offering trading services to domestic investors.