Asia Express – Cointelegraph Magazine
Alibaba NFTs… Censored?
On June 8, AliExpress, the online retail subsidiary of Chinese tech conglomerate Alibaba, announced that it had partnered with Web3 developer The Moment3! to create a series of NFTs based on shopping themes.
The upcoming collection will contain 5,555 NFTs and is scheduled to debut on June 25, 2023. Less than one day after the announcement, AliExpress’s tweet was deleted. Nevertheless, AliExpress’ developer partner released one statement confirms the case.
While no reason has been given as to why AliExpress deleted the original announcement, Chinese authorities have cracked down on anything crypto-related, forcing firms to remove keywords related to “non-fungible tokens” from their products.
In April, Bitcoin price quotes were added to Douyin, which is the Chinese version of TikTok with over 1 billion users, for less than 48 hours before it was removed by the authorities. Cryptocurrency fiat transactions, mining and exchanges (but not direct ownership) are currently prohibited in China.
Binance humiliated on Chinese TV
If there’s one thing the United States and China, the world’s two biggest competing superpowers, have in common, it’s their mutual hatred of cryptocurrency exchanges. On June 6, a day after the US Securities and Exchange Commission sued Binance for allegedly operating an unlicensed exchange and selling unregistered securities in the US, Chinese Central Television (CCTV) reported on the lawsuit to its one billion viewers. Curiously, the CCTV broadcast also acknowledged for the first time that Binance is the world’s “largest cryptocurrency exchange.”
Previously, CCTV aired a program on new rules for cryptocurrency exchanges in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region that came into effect on June 1. The segment was known for not having anything particularly negative to say about crypto in a country where it is currently banned, which is probably why it is believed that the authorities took down the segment just one day later. Given the Chinese authorities’ disdain for crypto exchanges like Binance, this report is likely to stick around forever.
Hong Kong needs 50K-100K Web3 professionals
In a June 7 fireside chat between local news agency Chaincatcher and Johnny Ng Kit-Chong, a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, Ng said the SAR would need at least 50,000 to 100,000 Web3 positions to be filled during the next few years based on conservative estimates.
During the interview, Ng revealed that Hong Kong’s plans to incubate 1,000 Web3 firms in three years have already exceeded expectations, with more than 400 firms registering at the time of publication, four months since its launch. Regarding Hong Kong’s new crypto regulations, Ng said:
“So, actually, Hong Kong’s policies are relatively open. If you plan to make a game and issue a token, there is no problem in Hong Kong. The key is whether the form of token sale involves securities or futures components, and this part will be regulated. In fact, Hong Kong’s supervision has always existed and is relatively clear, with almost no gray areas.”
Ng first became an investor in the Web3 space in 2010. He came into contact with Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin White Paper seven years later and “completely understood the functions of the blockchain and its core values” soon after. Ng became a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council in January 2022 and has since pushed for pro-Web3 regulations in the SAR.
Do Kwon vs. world
When a man is having a hard time, it’s usually not cool to put down. For law enforcement officials across multiple jurisdictions, as well as hundreds of thousands of investors/victims of last year’s $40 billion Terra Luna collapse, the last thing they probably want to see is Terraform Labs co-founder Do Kwon getting back on his feet.
Earlier this week, Kwon won a minor victory in his ongoing passport fraud case in Montenegro after an appeal by prosecutors was rejected by a Montenegrin court, putting himself and former Terraform Labs CFO Han Chang-Joon back on 400,000 euro bail each. . But before the two could celebrate, South Korean prosecutors announced they would apply to freeze Kwon and his associates’ $13 million in Swiss bank accounts.
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Around the same time, a scandal erupted in Montenegro related to Kwon’s alleged connections to the Balkan nation’s former finance minister, Milojko Spajić. According to local news agency Balkan Insight, Kwon sent a handwritten letter to Montenegro’s incumbent Prime Minister, Dritan Abazović, claiming that he had funded the opposition party’s “Europe Now” movement led by Spajić. The move came just days before Montenegro’s scheduled June 11 parliamentary elections.
Anyway, Kwon’s troubles in Montenegro are just the beginning. The blockchain leader faces criminal charges from both the US and South Korean authorities for his role in the Terra Luna implosion and could serve 40 years if convicted, in South Korea alone, before extradition to the US.
Chinese AI startup reaches unicorn status in less than 100 days
On June 5, Huiwen Wang, co-founder of Chinese food delivery giant Meituan Dianping, raised $230 million at a $1 billion valuation for his AI startup Guangnian Zhiwai, or “Lightyears Away.” The round was led by a notable Chinese venture capital firm along with Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent. According to media reports, Lightyears Away is seeking to become OpenAI in China, mirroring the success of its American counterpart.
If anything, the lifting taught us that ambition and reputation trump everything. The firm achieved its unicorn status just 100 days after its debut and does not appear to have a minimum variable product. In its latest update before its May 5 fundraising announcement, the firm is still seeking key front-end and back-end developers and interns.
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