Binance CEO sues Bloomberg Hong Kong subsidiary for defamation

The filing is a personal lawsuit and has nothing to do with Binance

 Binance founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, poses during an interview at the technology startups and innovation fair in Paris on May 16, 2022                                 
Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance is suing Bloomberg Businessweek’s Hong Kong publisher Modern Media for defamation – Photo: Getty Images

Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance, is suing Modern Media, the Hong Kong publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek, for defamation.

Documents filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York accused Modern Media Hong Kong of publishing an article translated into Chinese that alleged the Binance CEO was running a “ponzi scheme” in its headline.

On 23 June, Bloomberg Businessweek ran a profile on the Binance CEO, called Can Crypto’s Richest Man Stand the Cold?’, but which Modern Media published under a different headline. According to one of the court filings, the Modern Media Hong Kong article was titled Zhao Changpeng’s Ponzi Scheme.

The day after the Bloomberg Businessweek profile was published, Zhao tweeted that Bloomberg’s offer to do “a nice profile piece” was switched at the “last minute” and “picked only old negatives” despite “positive comments they got from third parties”. 

Zhao calls for retraction

In response to the Chinese translation, the Binance CEO demanded a retraction, called for the article’s removal both in print and online and immediate removal of “defamatory social media posts”. A letter from Modern Media’s legal team, according to the court filings, acknowledged the deletion of social media posts and the recall of the publication.

However, Zhao’s legal team maintained the Chinese edition of Bloomberg Businessweek, which contained the translated article, was still on sale online with an amended headline that read The Mysterious Changpeng Zhao.

Following further demands for remedial action, including a prominent apology, Zhao filed a defamation action in Hong Kong against Modern Media.

Anonymous trader’s quotes

In addition, the court documents claimed the original Bloomberg Businessweek article from June portrayed Binance as “sketchy” and included anonymous quotes from a trader that described the crypto exchange as a “massive s***coin casino”.

The motion stated that these details “were obviously designed to mislead readers into believing” that Zhao was involved in “illegal or unsavory activities”.   

The court filings, CoinTelegraph has reported, is a personal lawsuit and nothing to do with the crypto exchange itself.

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