Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the CEO of Binance, has hit back at critics and conspiracy theorists who claim that Binance is a “criminal entity” with Chinese roots that “secretly [belongs] in the pocket of the Chinese government.”
CZ Denies Exchange Links to China
In a blog post on Thursday, Binance’s CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, asserted that Binance is not a Chinese firm and that conspiracy theories about a Chinese employee secretly overseeing the business are false. CZ stated,
The inference is that because we have ethnically Chinese employees, and perhaps because I am ethnically Chinese, we are secretly in the pocket of the Chinese government.
We are an easy target for special interests, media, and even policymakers that hate our industry.
He further clarified that the executive team is now predominantly made up of Europeans and Americans, while the rest of the workforce is more widely distributed.
CZ’s History With China
In the same statement, CZ went on to recount his personal history with China. He and his family fled the country to Canada when he was 12 years old, just two months after the events of June 4th, 1989.
It changed my life forever and opened up endless possibilities for me.
CZ returned to China in 2005 and launched Bijie Tech, an exchange-as-a-service business, in 2015. However, in March 2017, the Chinese government closed down all such exchanges, thereby ending the business.
It subsequently put a similar unilateral ban on crypto exchanges operating in China on September 4th, about a month and a half after CZ and his team launched Binance. This compelled Binance to embrace a remote working paradigm, which resulted in the company hiring employees from all over the world.
Conspiracy Theory Surrounding Guangying Chen
According to the CEO, one of his employees at his first company, Bijie Tech, was a Chinese national named Guanying Chen. CZ had her listed as the firm’s legal representative at the time because of China’s tight restrictions regarding foreigners like himself – a Canadian citizen. The executive stated
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.
Many recent news pieces, including one published on Monday by Fortune magazine, have implied that Binance is inextricably linked to China due to its origins. The aforementioned article clearly indicated that Binance, like TikTok, may need to be banned in India owing to being “led by persons of Chinese origin.”
Chen was forced to leave China in 2017, according to CZ, but numerous Chinese media outlets continue to disseminate “conspiracy theories” about her, which certain tabloids pick up on from time to time. He said:
As a result, both she and her family have been targeted and harassed by the media and online trolls. Had I known how much of a negative impact this would have on her life, I never would have asked her to do what seemed like such an innocuous step at the time.
Chen now manages Binance’s administration and clearing team and resides in a European country.
The CEO concluded that Chen is not a “secret Chinese government agent” and that Binance is not a Chinese firm, despite efforts by its “opposition in the west” to portray it as such.
FUD Tactics in Crypto Space
The CEO also stated that malicious FUD tactics are typical in crypto and are frequently initiated by industry associations. Some exchanges, he claims, have even resulted in the creation of sites dedicated to slamming competitors while posing as independent newsgroups.
Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin issuer, routinely publishes statements aimed at news sites that cast doubt on the company. On Tuesday, the company hit back at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for singling out Tether with criticisms that also 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.