News Regulation

Alibaba’s Taobao bans ICOs and associated services

Chinese online shopping website Taobao, a subsidiary of retail giant Alibaba, will  ban stores on its platform from providing services related to Initial Coin Offering (ICOs).

The official statement, published on April 10, offers an update of the firm’s previous cryptocurrency-related restrictions, which banned Taobao’s customers from services related to cryptocurrencies, as well as from offering cryptocurrency mining tutorials, Bitcoin mining machines, and other related hardware.

The new regulatory framework that will come into force starting April 17, consists of two major changes:

  • The concept of cryptocurrencies will be expanded by including ICOs and other «similar digital products»;
  • The control of derivative services of digital products based on Blockchain technology will be increased.

With the help of these new regulations, Taobao aims to protect customers from financial risks associated with services related to ICOs, including illegal fundraising and easy speculation.

Taobao also said that stores which violate the new rules and keep offering ICO-related services will suffer punitive measures.