Alibaba’s Taobao Bans Sale Of ICO-Related Services

Announcements, News | April 12, 2018 By:

China-based online marketplace Taobao has announced that it will be banning stores from providing services related to initial coin offerings (ICO).

Founded by parent Alibaba Group, Taobao is a shopping marketplace for consumers in China. It facilitates transactions between individual consumers and a wide range of sellers, such as retailers, wholesalers, and other individuals. Similar to eBay, sellers are able to post new and used goods for sale on the Taobao marketplace, either through a fixed price or negotiated sale or by auction.

In a press release published on Tuesday, the marketplace has formally banned individual stores on the platform from providing services related to ICOs. The new restrictions are an additional measure to Taobao’s previous crypto-related ban, which halted the sale of products related to cryptocurrencies, such as crypto mining tutorials, mining machines, and other related hardware.

Effective starting from April 17, the goal of the new regulatory framework is to protect customers from financial risks and illicit activities related to ICOs. Taobao said that stores who continue to offer ICO and crypto-related services will be punished based on a points system.

Taobao said the rules have been changed to become more compliant with the wishes of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), who stated that “Any institution may not provide trading, exchange, pricing, brokerage, payment and other services related to digital currency and similar digital products.”

Taobao is the latest Internet platform to restrict crypto-related services, following recent bans by social media giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.