An article suggesting that the Chinese authorities raided Binance’s Shanghai Office has ignited a huge war and Twitter with many still unsure about what the true situation is.
The article written by the blockchain publication The Block was the big news of the past week or so, after it claimed Binance were raided by police in Shanghai and their office closed. Staff members had to leave and maybe this was the end for Binance in China.
However, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance, responded on Twitter, by saying this was fake news as “Binance hasn’t had an office in Shanghai for more than two years.”
Soon after, Zhao was contemplating legal action against The Block and was claiming that numerous exchanges in China were setting up groups to write negative content about Binance.
The Block replied, saying::
“In spite of other outlets uncritically reporting Binance’s official line on the matter, The Block stands by our sources and reporting that Binance’s Shanghai office was shut down. In the name of transparency, we’ve unpaywalled the article.” Many people were behind this Tweet and voiced their support.
So what is the truth? Does Binance have an office in Shanghai?
OkEx’s CEO Jay Hao certainly thinks so and went on a Twitter tirade listing the evidence that Binance does have an office in Shanghai.
It all began when one account named @truthurtm published a thread (retweeted by CZ) which called out OkEx as the exchange behind the articles. The thread was retweted by CZ and this made Hao very angry.
Hitting back hard, Hao accused the user of being paid off by Binance. After that he began showing proof that Binance has offices in Shanghai and had been closed:
The most telling tweet was from CoinDesk article which refers to an office in Shanghai in the article. The headline which read, “Binance Said to Plan Beijing Office Amid China’s Renewed Blockchain Push”has reference to a Binance office in Shanghai already. It said: “the new outpost will join Binance’s current mainland China office in Shanghai.”
Hao also tweeted one article cited from Caijing.com. This piece had photos of the Shanghai office, with people in Binance hoodies on October 29th, but when the reporter visited the office again, it was empty.
Local Shanghai TV also reported on the Binance office closure which made the story even more plausible. They claimed that the office shut down was owned by BABI Finance, an outsourced company related to Binance. Babi Finance is a subgroup of Binance and is probably made for occasions like this.
Hao pointed out the Alibaba/Wechat scandal that CZ was involved in, after he had flasely claimed you could use crypto on the mobile payment apps, by calling Binance the true FUD exchange, whilst saying it could be the reason for regulators to look closer at them.
China has long been skeptical about the industry. Especially Binance, as their Weibo account closing and now reports of raids, would tell you. Reports have suggested that 39 exchanges in Shenzhen have been flagged for defying the crypto ban and it isn’t a far stretch that they would go for Binance too.
Overall, it is clear that Binance is not an angelic victim in all of this. Do they have an office in Shanghai? The evidence suggests so, but Binance will surely deny, deny, deny.