Alibaba division deals a new blow to Bitcoin in China

Guy Bentley
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CHINA’S largest e-commerce business, Alibaba Group, will prohibit the sale of Bitcoin in the wake of People’s Bank of China’s crackdown on the cryptocurrency.

Last year, Chinese authorities instructed all third party payment companies to stop offering clearing services to Bitcoin exchanges by 31 January.

In December, the People’s Bank of China announced a ban on financial institutions handling Bitcoin transactions. The move came shortly after China became the world’s largest trader of the virtual currency.

“The ban does not just extend to Bitcoin’s themselves, but all manuals and computer software related to the mining of Bitcoin,” said Alibaba spokeswomen Florence Shih.

The decision comes as the company prepares for its initial public offering later this year.

The business is estimated to be worth as much as $100bn (£70bn).