Monday, September 3, 2018

Mainstream Media Narrative Sensationalizes Chinese Crypto Crackdown


An article written by Nicholas Krapels – an American academic who has lived in China since 2011 whilst working towards his PhD in Chinese politics at East China Normal University, has criticized mainstream media narratives pertaining to Chinese regulatory actions regarding cryptocurrencies.

Mr. Krapels states that "Last week, many minor statements fomented a mountain of fear, uncertainty, and doubt regarding cryptocurrency's future in China. On Tuesday evening, Wechat blocked a few crypto-oriented news official accounts. Late in the evening the next day, Beijing's Chaoyang District banned public venues from holding crypto-related events."

Mr. Krapels asserts that "the way Western media portrays events in China" heightened and exaggerated concerns pertaining to the events, adding: "That situation is only made worse when crypto influencers like Danhua Capital Managing Director Dovey Wan tweets out pictures of the primary source of the Beijing district ban in Chinese along with misleading English comments, 'The new China crypto BAN is now official'." Mr. Krapels likens such to "post[ing] […] an official English notice […] on Weibo […] from the NYC police banning handguns in Manhattan and then claim in Chinese, 'America's BAN on handguns is now official'."

Chinese Government Had "No Direct Involvement" With Wechat and Chaoyang District's Respective Actions
Mr. Krapels asserts that "the national government has had no direct involvement with any of these actions," emphasizing that "So far, a single district in Beijing and a development zone in Guangzhou have explicitly called for venue bans."

"Wechat and Alipay, corporations not the government, voluntarily self-regulated the blurry edges of their ecosystem that facilitated illegal behavior such as coordinating pyramid schemes and averting capital controls," he added.

The article states that "Most casual observers of Chinese politics do not understand that rarely, if ever, does the Chinese Communist Party issue bold black-and-white proclamations," adding that "By design, Chinese law maintains a grey area, a Hegelian nuance that provides for innovative creativity while at the same time attempts to ward off destructive tulipomania and outright scammers."

As such, Mr. Krapels states that one must "read between the lines" in order to "find true regulatory intent."

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