Alyssa Tsai

@alyssawytsai

10 Things You Need to Know About Entering China‘s ICO Market

Photo credits to Shutterstock, I do not own or claim the copyright

Our company and I have been advising projects, exchanges, accelerators and institutional investors (VCs) regarding market entry tips for China. Chinese government makes frequent updates and decisions on regulations toward cryptocurrencies and the information available to English speakers are never fast or sufficient enough. In addition to the obstacles from the governmental side, the nature and the habits of Chinese netizens/citizens are of great difference from that of US netizens/citizens. And it creates another layer of barrier.

Below are 10 most critical things I am happy to share for all audiences to get to know more about this mysterious and yet charming market -

  1. ICO is officially banned in China. In any legal paper and website, it should be listing that Chinese citizens are not allow to participate in one. Note: Citizens in both Hong Kong and Taiwan are still with some liberty in investing in ICOs, even some projects are quite active in both areas.
  2. All social media people are familiar with are banned. Including Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… oh yes, as well as Medium, YouTube and Google! Most of the projects I see only communicate through channels that are not accessible from China, and sometimes the video on website is also from YouTube! Worst of all, some whitepaper need to be downloaded from Google Drive.
  3. Large-scale meet up is not suggested. There are several times that relatively large scale conferences or mid size meet ups are forced to be cancelled. The most recent case is the one with China Joy, China's biggest gaming festival, where a great deal of blockchain projects were so ready to participate in an affiliated blockchain session and yet it was called off days ago.
  4. Chinese media are very expensive. Some publication would still charge a decent amount of money even it's a good story with good angle and from leading projects. In addition, most of the mainstream media don’t cover cryptocurrency especially ICOs to follow the government’s guidelines, it gives spaces for crypto vertical news channels to do so.
  5. Mind the terminology and wording. There are some terms and some words that should prevent to be used in China, or the content will be deleted and accounts get banned.
  6. Some crypto big names are actually notorious in China. Some of the well-known influencers have questionable deeds and yet this kind of news are not covered by Western media. Being high profile doesn’t mean he/she can bring real value or positive impact to a project. Be careful on choosing and whom to work with.
  7. Fake conferences with fake speakers. There are 2nd or 3rd tiered conferences pretending they have all the influencers and industry titans attending their event — but they are not. Do more due diligence check and validate. There are conferences everyday and everywhere in Asia hosted by Chinese, it’s not likely that all the VIPs will go to all.
  8. Readerships can be fake too. There are certain media leveraging bots to manipulate the views, hence it should not be the only deciding factor in choosing media partner. The team and quality of content are better ways to evaluate their leadership and their effort in creating good stories.
  9. No E-Mail marketing & Newsletter. They are not really for China.
  10. Several good public blockchains with Chinese background. Even though the market and the regulation don’t seem 100% promising at the moment, there are quite a few options of public blockchains from Asia with Chinese background that can be considered by developers, including QTUM, VECHAIN, NEO, MIXIN NETWORK and BUMO. When exploring options in early stages, don’t forget to check them out.

For the next articles, I will be sharing tips for Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, stay tuned!

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