Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, said it no longer operates in China and started to offer relocation assistance in 2021 for employees in the country who wished to remain with the company. The comments on Thursday in an emailed statement reiterate what the company has said before and came in response to a Financial Times article that cited internal documents and said the company had close ties with China despite claims it had left the country in 2017 following a government crackdown.

See related article: Binance concealed ‘extensive’ ties to China: Financial Times

Fast facts

  • The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that Binance Chief Executive Officer Changpeng Zhao and other senior executives directed employees to conceal the company’s presence in China, and that the company had a mainland office that was active until 2019.
  • A Binance spokesperson said on Thursday in an emailed statement that it is unfortunate that “anonymous sources are citing ancient history (in crypto terms) and dramatically mischaracterizing events.”
  • “Binance does not operate in China nor do we have any technology, including servers or data, based in China. We strongly reject assertions to the contrary,” the statement said. “To be clear, the Chinese government, like any other government, has no access to Binance data except where we are responding to lawful and legitimate law enforcement requests.”
  • It added: “The original founding team members that were based in Shanghai left China just two months after the company was organized, before the company was even incorporated, following crackdowns on the crypto industry in China.”
  • “Binance has never been registered or incorporated in China, and does not operate in China, which banned crypto exchanges in September 2017,” the spokesperson added. “While we did have a customer service call center based in China to service global Mandarin speakers, those employees who wished to remain with the company were offered relocation assistance starting in 2021.”
  • Binance has about 8,000 full-time employees from over 50 countries, with about 25% of them based near its regional hubs in Paris and Dubai, according to the statement.
  • On Monday, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission filed a civil lawsuit against Binance and its chief executive officer Changpeng Zhao, alleging the company violated derivatives rules by allowing U.S. residents to trade various financial instruments involving digital assets without licensing approval.

See related article:Binance chief Changpeng Zhao reiterates Binance not a Chinese company