Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao aka CZ has hit back at critics who claim that the platform is “Chinese.” In a blog post, the company chief specifies that the executive team is now dominated primarily by Europeans and Americans, while the broader workforce is more globally dispersed. CZ added, “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.” CZ wrote that the company has no legal entities in China, nor does it intend to in future.
“We are an easy target for special interests, media, and even policymakers that hate our industry,” the CEO alleged.
Binance has a history of being pulled up by regulators globally as the largest exchange by volume. Recently, the exchange was asked to produce information pertaining to money laundering checks and conversations between significant individuals within the company, including Zhao, by federal prosecutors working for the US Justice Department.
Addressing some of the theories around Binance, CZ also hinted at an “old campaign” to tarnish the brand allegedly launched by competitors through an anonymous microsite.
Looking back at his childhood, CZ said, “The irony that I was once again forced to leave China – approximately 30 years after my parents fled with my sister and I – was not lost on me.”
The “Chinese-Canadian CEO” noted, “Simply being of Chinese descent or having emigrated from China should not be a scarlet letter one has to wear for the rest of their life. Nor should it give people free rein to cast aspersions, lay false claims, or question one’s loyalty to their country.”
Zhao only returned to China from Canada in 2005, when the “web tech industry started to explode” in the country. He also revealed that since the Chinese government “helped bolster the fledgling industry” behind the schemes, many other companies were first registered in China with the “best Web3-curious engineers and investors flocking to Shanghai and Hong Kong.”
He argued that even FTX and Crypto.com were set up in Hong Kong during this time.
However, “Binance was never incorporated in China. Nor do we operate like a Chinese company culturally. We have subsidiaries in many countries, including France, Spain, Italy, UAE, and Bahrain (to name a few). But we don’t have any legal entities in China, and we do not have plans to,” CZ explained.
He also addressed conspiracy theories around Guangying Chen owning Binance. He said, “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.”
That said, CZ made it clear to the “opposition in the West” that it cannot be portrayed a “Chinese company” and neither can Chen be tagged as the proprietor of Binance or some covert agent of the Chinese government.