- Tencent has shut down one of its NFT trading platforms, just a year after its launch.
- Owners of current collectibles, however, will still be able to hold, exhibit, or ask for a refund for their items.
- Tencent said it took the decision “based on the company’s consideration to focus on its core strategy.”
The NFT trading platform, Huanhe, owned by the Chinese internet giant, Tencent Holdings, announced on August 16 that it would no longer make digital collectibles available to the general public as regulatory scrutiny of NFTs grows in the nation.
This development came in a report from Reuter on Tuesday, where Tencent said it took the decision “based on the company’s consideration to focus on its core strategy.”
The Huanhe app, formally released in August 2021, will stop providing new NFTs to users from Tuesday, according to the Shenzhen-based startup. However, owners of current collectibles will still be able to hold, exhibit, or ask for a refund on their items, according to the firm.
The potential closure of the Huanhe app was first reported by Chinese media last month, although its statement on Tuesday did not elaborate on what would happen to the Huanhe brand in the future.
Huanhe was one of the biggest NFT platforms in China, with new collectibles often sold out instantly upon launch. With the growing attention from Chinese regulators, the action represents a significant retreat by Tencent from the NFT sector.
For the uninitiated, NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are digital collectibles that have gained popularity around the globe recently, in large part due to an active, if not highly speculative, secondary market.
Large Chinese IT companies have trodden lightly with their NFT platforms inside China. They mostly avoided using the term “NFT” and instead referred to them as “digital collectibles” to distinguish them from cryptocurrencies, which are illegal in China.