More than two dozens of crypto influencers on Weibo suddenly found their accounts suspended by the Chinese social media company in what appeared to be a targeted censorship effort.
Around 10:00 UTC time on Saturday, Chinese users on Weibo started to share that as many as 25 accounts of influencers and media outlets who had been active in the crypto space became inaccessible.
Clicking into their user IDs now shows the user doesn't exist, based on accounts verified by The Block. Each of these accounts previously boasted notable numbers of followers and were active in discussing bitcoin, crypto projects as well as decentralized finance.
SuperBTC, one of the most known Weibo influencers in China due to his long-time involvement in the community, also confirmed the unexpected suspension on Twitter:
"Weibo, the Chinese Twitter, has suspended many crypto influencers' accounts, including my Weibo account. Feel free to follow me here. At least Twitter is more crypto-friendly."
The accounts of Chinese crypto media Blockbeats and 8BTC are also suspended.
Weibo has not given any specific reasons as to why these accounts have been targeted since some other notable Weibo accounts that also had hundreds of thousands of followers are still accessible. But the names of most of the suspended accounts today did bear terms such as "bitcoin," "btc," "blockchain" and "coin trader."
It appears that such a targeted effort caused some fear over the crypto market's sentiment.
Bitcoin's price dropped by over 3% immediately after the Weibo suspension news began to circulate among the Chinese crypto community. It dipped to as low as $35,300 on Coinbase Pro and is now changing hands around $35,800.
The suspension follows comments issued by a China State Council meeting that mentioned how a crackdown on bitcoin trading activities will be a priority in maintaining financial stability.
This is not the first time Weibo has suspended accounts of crypto influencers or crypto businesses. It previously censored accounts that belonged to Huobi, OKEx and Binance as well as those belonging to Tron founder Justin Sun and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.