When an Eagle-eyed Tweeter spotted two new tabs on Binance for fiat on-ramping, she quizzed the CEO, Changpeng Zhao, if this meant that the cryptocurrency exchange would now be accepting fiat through Alipay and WeChat. An emphatic “YES” followed for Zhao, but that’s not the full story.
When Zhao gave his curt, but positive, answer to the question of Binance accepting fiat on-ramp with Alipay and WeChat, he inadvertently sparked a media storm that claimed a partnership of some sort had been formed between the major exchange and the two payment powerhouses of China.
Zhao took to Twitter to clarify, stating: “Some confusion by some news outlets. Binance is not working directly with WeChat or Alipay. However, users are able to use them in P2P transactions for payment. Still not a small feat. But words/meaning get twisted as they are passed around.”
Unfortunately, for Binance and Zhao, Alipay retaliated to his vague “YES” with a comprehensive “NO, you cannot. They follow this up with a statement distancing themselves from cryptocurrencies – a topic of much controversy in China.
There are several reports about Alipay being used for bitcoin transactions. To reiterate, Alipay closely monitors over-the-counter transactions to identify irregular behavior and ensure compliance with relevant regulations.f any transactions are identified as being related to bitcoin or other virtual currencies, Alipay immediately stops the relevant payment services,” Alipay tweeted.
WeChat, also implicated with the notion of being used for the purchase of cryptocurrency, put out their own statement echoing what Alipay had to say.
“WeChat will never support cryptocurrencies trading, and has never integrated with any crypto merchant, they said, adding “We welcome any whistle blower to report such behavior.”
China has long been the enemy of decentralized cryptocurrencies after the government took stern measures to ban ICOs and then the access to exchanges. This was one of the reasons that Binance was forced to set up its offices in Malta and leave the Chinese mainland.
The likes of Alibaba, its affiliates Alipay and Ant Financial, as well as WeChat are all highly scrutinized by the government and heavily controlled and censored by it too. Thus, for there to be claims that these entities could be used towards buying ‘illegal’ cryptocurrencies would not be well received.
That being said, Binance is attempting to reach back out towards the Chinese market with the launch of its an over-the-counter (OTC) trading platform for Chinese yuan.