Modern media is something really sensitive and powerful. It has the capability of influencing masses leading to severe consequences. The crypto industry has seen its share of media manipulation as well. Sometimes it’s the accused that’s guilty while sometimes it’s the publishers.
On November 21, The Block published a story dubbed “Binance’s Shanghai office shut down following police raid, sources say.” The article mentioned that the Shanghai office of Binance has “abruptly closed its doors in recent weeks,” according to “several sources close to the matter.” The mentioned reason for the closure was supposedly a “police raid.” It further cited that this move was responsible for “forcing employees to either work remotely or relocate to Singapore.”
The article further stated:
“According to sources, the cryptocurrency exchange’s Shanghai office was recently visited by local officials. Sources said many of Binance’s executives along with as many as 100 other employees worked at the office […] notably, top executives such as CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and CMO Yi He were part of the group that relocated to Singapore, according to sources.”
The article spread like wildfire on Twitter and it wasn’t too long after, that Zhao himself took to Twitter to address the situation calling it a “fake”. Zhao said:
“Instead of apologizing to the community for the fake headline news of the non-existent “police raid”, which damaged our reputation, and $btc price, theBlock now tries to argue if there was an office, if CZ had a meeting… who cares? Own up & apologize for your mistake.”
Zhao quickly received support from other company executives like Wei Zhou, CFO of Binance. Zhou went on to claim that Binance doesn’t have an office in Shanghai so there was no raid at all. He said:
The Block posted a report in the response of all the back-lash it received from the community, but Zhao went on to reveal that there are writers involved in cryptocurrency media scene who are a bribed by companies to write “negative content” about their competitors. Zhao shared a screenshot:
Despite the block trying to even things out with their response article, it didn’t stop CZ from lashing out on them. The Binance CEO had later said in a tweet that Binance will be “Suing” The block.
He justified his reason for “Suing” the media publisher saying:
“Already gave them a chance to apologize, but they haven’t. You don’t FUD about a fake “police raid” then just change title.”
The existence of a Shanghai office owned by Binance is still a question that remains unanswered. It is, however, a fact that if these reports aren’t true, misleading news like this could seriously damage the reputation of a business and even start a FUD. Some even suggested that the recent drop in Bitcoin price is linked to the Binance report.
With reports like this, it is not just Binance, but the entire crypto industry’s reputation at stake.