The primary Chinese messaging app operated by tech giant Tencent, WeChat has lately updated its payments policy that will stop merchants on the platform from engaging in digital asset and crypto-related activities.
It is to be noted that WeChat updated its Payment Service Protocol on April 30. Interestingly, the updation in the protocol signifies that merchants using its service shall not, directly or indirectly, be involved in any ICO-related activities or operating digital asset trading.
It is to be noted that the new policy will take effect on May 31. Furthermore, WeChat will conclude its payment services for merchants that are found of a violation. On the other hand, the policy update did not tag cryptocurrency-related activities as illegal transactions, a fact misinterpreted by a range of Chinese cryptocurrency and digital asset related media outlets.
Notably, the new WeChat policy could have an impact on over-the-counter traders in China who are using WeChat Pay as one of the options for transacting Chinese yuan. Several crypto exchanges like OKEx and Huobi, offer their platforms for over-the-counter market makers as well as individual users to place bid and ask orders to exchange fiat to the virtual asset, vice versa.
Nevertheless, it’s also important to make a note that the payment policy update by WeChat is addressed to merchants on WeChat Pay, referring to account holders who have registered as a corporate user or merchant, as opposed to retail individuals.
It is to be noted that Alibaba’s payment affiliate Ant Financial and WeChat have both taken several notable efforts to monitor and suspend consumer accounts that are suspected of being involved in virtual currency trading, since August last year.