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Alibaba’s Taobao Shopping Site To Prohibit Cryptocurrency, Blockchain Listings



De Silva

Next week, Taobao will institute a far-reaching ban on cryptocurrency and blockchain-related goods and services, expanding beyond its current prohibition on virtual currencies and related materials.

On April 10, 2018, Taobao – a subsidiary of Alibaba Group – published an update to its list of prohibited products, broadening its ban on virtual currency products to include derivative goods and services (e.g., digital pets, ICO marketing). Previously, the e-commerce website forbade virtual currency sales, tutorials, mining equipment, and software.

Taobao said that the expanded prohibition list, which takes effect on April 17, 2018, is meant "to standardize the market management order of Taobao's online shopping platform, create a safe and secure online shopping environment for consumers, and increase consumer's confidence in purchase and satisfaction."

Violations of the new rules can result in 12-point deductions per offense. Serious violations may result in 48-point deductions. These "points" appear to be part of a reputation system on Taobao. It seems that point deductions can result in a shop being temporarily excluded from search results or even being removed from the system altogether (depending on the severity of the violations).

Alibaba has sought to distance itself from the cryptocurrency markets in recent weeks. At present, the company is embroiled in a trademark infringement lawsuit against Alibabacoin Foundation, a Dubai-based startup company.

Matthew De Silva

Matthew has a passion for law and technology. He graduated from Georgetown University, where he studied international economics and music. Matthew enjoys biking and listening to tech podcasts. He lives in Los Angeles.

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