Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice is investigating Bitmain for undermining the territory’s semiconductor industry. Huobi, Binance, and OKEx’s Weibo accounts were blocked after Bitcoin’s market cap hit $1 trillion. Seychelles financial authorities said Huobi is not registered there, while US regulators launched probe into Binance.

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The world of blockchain moves fast, and nowhere does it move faster than China. Here’s what you need to know about China’s block-world in the week of March 9 – 16.

Taiwan vs. Bitmain

Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice is investigating cryptocurrency rig maker Bitmain for allegedly poaching engineers from its top semiconductor manufacturer, TSMC. A prosecutor in Taipei accused Bitmain of “severely threatening the development of our semiconductor industry.” (Apple Daily, in traditional Chinese)

Social media blocks

China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform blocked the accounts of major exchanges Huobi, Binance, and OKEx beginning on March 12, when Bitcoin’s market cap hit the $1 trillion mark, again. The news reached a ranking of tenth most-popular topics trending on Weibo. As of early Tuesday afternoon, Binance’s account had been restored, while Huobi and OKEx had new accounts. (CoinDesk)

Exchanges vs. regulators

  • Binance is reportedly being investigated by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for helping American citizens make trades that breach local laws. (Bloomberg)
  • The day before the Bloomberg report, Binance announced it had hired a former US Senator and ambassador to China under President Barack Obama as government liaison. (Binance press release)
  • The Seychelles Financial Services Authority posted a statement on March 8 saying that Huobi is neither registered nor regulated by Seychelles authorities. Huobi has long claimed that it is registered in the offshore haven. The statement has since been deleted. (CoinTelegraph)
  • The CEO of Huobi, Leon Li, has reportedly returned to work as normal as a Chinese investigation he was assisting came to an end. (Wu Blockchain, in Chinese)

READ MORE: Reports of Huobi COO arrest spurs whale transactions as token sinks

The mining

  • Embattled cryptocurrency mining rig maker Canaan Creative has seen presales rise by 17% since mid-February amid soaring Bitcoin prices. (Global Times)
  • Rigmaker Ebang launched the beta phase of its crypto exchange on an invite-only basis on March 15. (Ebang filing)
  • A Sichuan Communist Party official, Zhu Jiade, Director of the Provincial Department of Economics and Information Technology, said the southwestern province will continue to develop its local blockchain industry, the majority of which is cryptocurrency mining. The province of Inner Mongolia is considering shutting down its own industry. (Sichuan, in Chinese)

READ MORE: Inner Mongolia may ban crypto mining: Blockheads

China’s blockchain patents

Ant Group filed the most blockchain-related patents of any company in the world, research from IP management news source International Asset Management said, while Chinese companies led the pack overall. (International Asset Management)

Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza was TechNode's blockchain and fintech reporter until July 2021, when she moved to CoinDesk to cover crypto in Asia. Get in touch with her via email or Twitter.