Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) recently released a statement on Binance blog to demystify the company’s relationship with China.
He asserted that Binance is not a Chinese company, and that conspiracy theories of a Chinese employee secretly running the business are untrue.
CZ’s History With China
In the statement published on Thursday, CZ began by recounting his personal history with the China. He and his family fled from the nation to Canada when he was 12 years old, only two months after the events of June 4th 1989.
“It changed my life forever and opened up endless possibilities for me,” he wrote.
CZ moved back to China in 2005, and started an exchange-as-a-service business called Bijie Tech in 2015. However, the Chinese government shut down all of such exchanges in March 2017, forcing the business to end.
It then imposed a similar unilateral ban on crypto exchanges operating in China on September 4th – just a month and a half after CZ and his team started Binance. This forced Binance to adopt a remote working model, which led to the company hiring workers from across the globe.
The Guanying Chen Controversy
According to the CEO, one of the employees that worked for him at his first company – Bijie Tech – was Guanying Chen, a Chinese national. CZ had her listed as the company’s legal representative at the time due to restrictive laws in China surrounding foreigners like himself – a Canadian citizen.
“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.” explained the executive.
Many recent news articles, including one published by Fortune magazine on Monday, have insinuated that Binance is deeply connected to China due to its origins. The aforementioned piece specifically suggested that Binance may need to be banned in India like TikTok was, due to being “led by persons of Chinese origin.”
CZ said that Chen was forced to leave China in 2017, but that many Chinese outlets still spread “conspiracy theories” about her, which certain tabloids pick up on from time to time. Today, Chen oversees Binance’s admin and clearing team and lives in a European country.
The CEO concludes that Chen is not a “secret Chinese government agent,” and that Binance is not a Chinese company, despite attempts from its “opposition in the west” to paint it as such.
Fake News and FUD in Crypto
The CEO noted that malicious FUD campaigns are quite common in crypto, and are often started by organizations within the industry. Some exchanges, he said, have even created sites dedicated to bashing competitors while masquerading as independent newsgroups.
Tether – the world’s largest stablecoin issuer – frequently issues statements targeting news outlets spreading doubt about the firm. On Tuesday, the firm fired back at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for singling out Tether with criticisms that equally apply to other stablecoin issuers.
“These types of attacks are only becoming more sophisticated,” said CZ. “These types of campaigns erode trust in the entire industry.”