Binance, the world’s largest exchange has been hit with claims of being a Chinese company but its CEO seized the initiative to clear the air as the firm braces itself for more attacks.
- Binance’s CEO squashes speculations that his firm is a Chinese company amid a brewing PR thunderstorm.
- He argues that the attacks stem from hostile media houses and competitors that aim to erode public trust in the company.
- In the past, the CEO has been at loggerheads with some publications, with the spat with Reuters being the most notable.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, has refuted claims that his exchange is a Chinese company. In a blog post published on Thursday, Zhao claimed that Binance employees have been the victim of increasing attacks as part of smear campaigns by rival firms.
Zhao argued that the allegations are unsubstantiated because the exchange’s “executive team is more heavily dominated by Europeans and Americans.” He noted that employees across the board are evenly distributed and as such, reports of being a Chinese company are ludicrous.
To support his point, Zhao disclosed that he is Canadian and not Chinese and had “to pay 25% more tax as a foreigner” in running his first business in Shanghai after migrating from Canada. Less than two months after launching Binance, Zhao noted that the company was forced to leave China due to the government’s decision to clamp down on cryptocurrency exchanges.
“They then blocked our platform behind the Great Firewall,” read the blog post. Binance’s leadership team adopted a remote approach for staff and wears the tag of global exchange, CZ claimed
Guangying Chen - The root of the fiasco
Critics of Binance cite Guangying Chen, a Chinese national that has been tasked with important responsibilities within the crypto exchange, as proof of the exchange’s strong ties to China. However, Zhao claims she was merely an employee of Bijie Tech, a company that is often considered the precursor to Binance.
“Because her name is listed on the early Bijie Tech documents, Binance’s detractors have leaped at the opportunity to spread a conspiracy theory that Guangying was secretly the owner of Bijie Tech and possibly even Binance,” says Zhao.
The move to refute the claims comes on the heels of “FUD” spreading "behind closed doors," CZ said, in response to a tweet that asked where "is China FUD." This could suggest that an outlet or a publication is working on a story related to this topic.
Since its launch, Binance has risen to become the largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of transaction volumes and has recently obtained operational licenses in numerous countries, including the UAE.
The Spat with Reuters
Binance was in the crosshairs of a damning Reuters report that claimed that the exchange had become a hub for fraudsters and drug traffickers. The report claimed that the company continued to provide services to Russia despite sanctions in place and that it was only concerned with growth.
Zhao responded to the report, saying that it was wholly untrue and was designed by certain parties to “mislead the general public.” The CEO also accused Reuters of using outdated data and ignoring the company's comments on different topics.
The exchange also once again went head to head with Reuters when the publication claimed Binance continued to serve Iranian residents despite the sanctions. In response, CZ said Binance has been using Reuters' own screening product as one of its KYC verification tools.