Sep 24, 2021 - Economy

Chinese regulators outlaw crypto in latest crackdown

Photo of a masked person holding an umbrella and a plastic bag as they walk past a building

A man walks past a mall in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

Regulators in China are tightening their grip on industries at a dizzying pace — ratcheting up pressure that’s spared few sectors.

Driving the news: The country’s most powerful regulators banded together for the first time to outlaw all cryptocurrency activity on Friday, Reuters reports — intensifying its years-long war.

One reason for the move: To stamp out competition to its own digital currency before a potential rollout next year, Nikkei Asia reports.

  • Think of it like "Beijing bulldozing an apartment building so they can build a new superhighway," the Atlantic Council's Josh Lipsky tells Axios.

It’s not just crypto: Among others in China’s regulatory crosshairs recently…

  • Education: In July, officials banned companies that teach school subjects from making profits, going public or raising money.
  • Gaming: Earlier this month, new rules vastly curbed the amount of time minors can game.
  • Casinos: Last week kicked off an unexpected review of industry supervision in Macao, the world’s biggest gambling hub.

The bottom line: "No one really knows how far Beijing is willing to go to put the state back in the center of China's economic future," says Jordan Schneider, a senior analyst at Rhodium Group.

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