Regulators in Beijing have removed 13 apps involved in cryptocurrency trading, a year after the country declared all crypto-related transactions illegal. 

The latest crackdown, executed by the Beijing Local Financial Supervision and Administration, was revealed in a blog post from the People’s Court of Chaoyang District on a verified social media account. Chaoyang is one of Beijing’s largest and wealthiest districts. 

The administration said it had also shut down 23 crypto media websites and online accounts belonging to 440 people promoting cryptocurrencies, as well as banned two bank accounts that were suspected of offering over-the-counter trading of cryptocurrencies.

People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, has blocked 10 addresses for downloading crypto exchange apps, one crypto trading app and 32 domain names related to cryptocurrencies, according to the blog post that did not name any apps, websites or bloggers.

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The crackdown, which was coordinated across different government departments, was launched after the Beijing Chaoyang District Court suggested the government look into  crypto exchanges that were still operating in mainland China after the crypto ban of September 2021.

After China banned cryptocurrency trading and mining last September, there was an exodus of cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets providers, miners and crypto media outlets out of mainland China. But some miners and exchanges went underground. 

The country’s central bank says cryptocurrency creates economic instability and facilitates financial crime. However, some commentators say the central bank is more worried about people using crypto to move their money out of China.

The Chaoyang District Court said in the post it was first made aware of a case in March involving a cryptocurrency exchange named Ou Yi, which was still offering trading services to Chinese users. Ou Yi is the Chinese name of crypto exchange OKX, a Seychelles-based exchange that originated in China.

A check by Forkast revealed that OKX was still accessible in mainland China and supported direct purchases of cryptocurrencies using the Chinese yuan. Forkast has contacted OKX for comment. 

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OKX was still getting significant traffic from China after the blank crypto ban, according to a May report from media outlet Cointelegraph. Currently, the exchange ranks 20th globally by 24-hour trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap