Changpeng Zhao has responded to critics and conspiracy theorists who assert that his company is a Chinese-based criminal entity that discreetly belongs in the pocket of the Chinese government.
CZ's response to critics was published in a blog post on September 1 via Binance and arises from a Twitter spat between a former Washington Post journalist who questioned him, "While I have you here, who's Guangying Chen?"
He explained that the question refers to a conspiracy theory in which his close associate and Chinese national Guangying Chen is the secret creator of Bijie Tech, a firm he established in 2015, and potentially also Binance.
CZ, on the other hand, explains that Chen is a colleague he met through a friend and hired to manage the back office at Bijie Tech before re-hiring her at the company, contributing that conspiracy theorists then connected her as a secret owner of the firm because she was one of the few who initially remained in China.
According to Scam Binance, Chen once owned 93% of both Bijie Tech and Binance. According to him, such rumors arose from an old campaign that an opponent introduced via an unidentified microsite.
"As a result, the media and online trolls have targeted and harassed both her and her family." "I would never have asked her to do what seemed like such an innocuous step at the time if I had known how much of a negative impact this would have on her life," he said.
CZ also categorically denied that his company has close ties to China and its government, even going so far as to discuss some of his disturbing personal and business interactions with Chinese authorities.
"The greatest challenge that the company faces today is that we (and every other offshore exchange) have been designated as a criminal entity in China, while our opponents in the west bend over backward to portray us as a Chinese company.'
He believes the ill-intentioned inferences stem from the fact that he and a few other personnel are of Chinese ethnicity, making the company an obvious target for special interests, media, or even policymakers who despise our industry.
"The inference is that we are secretly in the pocket of the Chinese government because we have ethnically Chinese employees, and perhaps because I am ethnically Chinese," he said.
As recently as August 30, a Fortune India article described the platform as a Chinese-originated crypto exchange, claiming that the platform and other Chinese-linked centralized crypto exchanges were infiltrating India by illegally conducting their services in India.
According to him, Chinese-infiltrated narratives persist despite it never being legally incorporated in China and never operating culturally as a Chinese company.
He also added that it has affiliates in a number of countries, including France, Spain, Italy, the UAE, and Bahrain, and that the company has grown its team globally, adding that we are active in continuing to pursue top talent, regardless of where they hail from.
"Executive team has become more heavily dominated by Europeans and Americans over the last two years, as we expanded into Europe and the Middle East and recruited a more senior leadership team."
"Our broader workforce is even more globally distributed." Despite these facts, some people still refer to us as a Chinese company," he added.
CZ fled to Canada when he was 12 years old and later returned to start a company, which was later closed down by the Chinese government.
He stated that he recruited a few former Bijie Tech employees to launch Binance in July 2017, but the Chinese government simply shut it down six weeks later by issuing a memorandum declaring that crypto exchanges were not permitted to operate in China, adding, "They then sealed off our platform behind the Great Firewall. The majority of our employees had already left China at this point. By late 2018, only a few customer service agents remained."
Binance was lawfully incorporated in the Cayman Islands in 2017, but it does not have a formalized headquarters at this time.