The Chinese social media platform Weibo suspended the official accounts of Huobi, Binance, OKEx and the upstart crypto exchange MXC on the platform at around 7:15 UTC (2:15 a.m. ET) on Thursday morning. Weibo said these accounts had violated laws and community rules.
The suspension came several hours after news that bitcoin reached the $1 trillion market cap became the 10th-most popular topic on Weibo. Another topic about a semiconductor chip shortage leading to the bitcoin price surge became the 25th-most popular on Weibo at around the same time. Weibo has 511 million monthly active users, according to its latest quarterly report.
The ranking is determined by a number of factors, including likes, comments, searches and reposts generated by certain content over a 24-hour period, according to Weibo.
Chinese authorities do not ban bitcoin itself, but restrict the activities of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. The government’s attitude towards bitcoin can be difficult to understand. While some regulators would characterize bitcoin as a threat to China’s financial stability, state TV also featured the cryptocurrency’s recent bull run.
Weibo has shut off influential crypto accounts before. In 2019, the platform shut down the accounts of Tron founder Justin Sun and Binance executive Yi He.
Another Chinese social media platform, WeChat, permanently shut down several public accounts in 2018, claiming the accounts were creating content related to initial coin offering or promoting crypto trading.
As press time, the official accounts of these exchanges’ chief executives remained accessible on Weibo.