Chinese authorities have seized 6,890 bitcoin asics in the Kaiping District of Tangshan near Beijing according to local media.
China Central Television (CCTV) says Tangshan Police, in conjunction with the State Electric Power Department and other departments, have conducted comprehensive inspections of more than 70,000 household regarding their electricity.
They have further inspected factories, mines, courtyards, 3,061 merchants, 1,470 communities and villages.
During the investigation, Chinese police first found a private transformer was suspicious in a compound in a village in Shuangqiao Town, Kaiping District, Tangshan, Hebei.
That privately connected transformer was used to mine bitcoin with 1,906 bitcoin asics seized at the premises.
Police followed the lead and seized three high-power transformers and 790 bitcoin mining machines that were stealing electricity in a nearby village.
Through this process, they have seized in total 52 high-power transformers and 6,890 asics with the Chinese police intending to continue the crackdown on electricity theft.
The allegations are that these miners were stealing electricity, with police at times tipped off by the power supplier himself who might notice unusual electricity usage.
Bitcoin mining itself is not illegal in China, but the Chinese Communist Party is hostile to the cryptocurrency, with crypto exchanges prohibited in the world’s second biggest economy.
What exactly they plan to do with these asics is not clear. You’d expect them to auction them off, but in places like Venezuela authorities just use seized bitcoin asics to mine for themselves.