Chinese C2C e-commerce website Taobao.com formally published an online notice stating that starting from January 14, 2014, the website will ban the sale of Bitcoins as well as Bitcoin mining machines.
Taobao.com said that based on the related regulations and policies of China, the company will adjust its prohibited product management practices accordingly, adding virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin to its prohibited product category. Meanwhile, related products, including Bitcoin mining guidance and Bitcoin mining hardware and software, will all be banned on the website.
A spokesman from Chinese Bitcoin news site Bitebimi.com said the rush to ban the Bitcoin mining devices was a self-censorship and self-imposed decision by Taobao, as no regulation in China so far seems to directly target these types of devices. The decision to ban these devices might also point to a very large demand in these types of activities, so the ban is meant to snuff out this market in China.
The trading of virtual currencies like Bitcoin are mostly completed via professional websites instead of Taobao.com. However, Bitcoin mining machines are mainly sold on Taobao.com.
Prior to this, the People's Bank of China issued a notice that required third-party payment organizations to shut down trading channels for Bitcoin and Litecoin.