China’s largest search engine Baidu has removed advertising for bitcoin and all other forms of digital currency from its online service.
Domestic media reported on Friday that Baidu “has stopped all virtual coin related keyword advertising (paid search), including bitcoin.” The fact that the country’s most popular search engine froze cryptocurrency ads was also confirmed to Bloomberg News by local bitcoin exchanges OKCoin and Huobi.
According to Bloomberg, Zennon Kapron, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Kapronasia said this decision “could be a precursor to China being ready to push for a more nationalized approach to virtual currencies.”
So far the status of digital currencies in China was vague. However, based on the government plans to have a set of laws that will consider cryptocurrencies as properties it seems that the country is keeping up with the digital currency related changes.
Baidu has been operating under the spotlight since the end of July when it was reported that gambling websites used China’s largest search engine to illegally promote themselves.