Binance claims it has no crypto exchange business in China — that’s a lie

Crypto giant Binance has claimed it operates “no exchange business” in China, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

As relayed by Chinese journalist Colin Wu, Binance made the curious statement to local media Blockchain Daily in response to Beijing’s most-recent labelling of all crypto transactions in the country illegal.

China’s drastic clampdown is this year’s most severe step yet, as the government wages a war on digital currencies under the guise of environmental protection. 

Beijing already banned companies and banks from providing crypto-related services. Beijing also tried to steer its citizens away from speculative crypto trading.

Binance (which started out as a Chinese company) says it has now blocked new registrations using Chinese mobile numbers and restricted netizens from downloading its app.

The world’s top crypto exchange simultaneously claimed that Chinese users have been banned from its platform since 2017.

Speaking about the government ban, a Binance spokesperson told Markets Insider: “Binance does not currently hold exchange operations in China.”

“Binance takes its compliance obligations very seriously and is committed to following local regulator requirements wherever we operate.”

While it could be that Binance does not formally operate crypto exchange in China, it clearly services local cypto traders.

Binance ‘most comfortable’ for China’s crypto traders

Indeed, just last month CoinDesk reported that Binance users in China were still confident about the safety of their funds despite the crackdown on crypto-related activity in the region gathering steam.

“[…] Binance, with its roots in China, provides one of the best and most comfortable user experiences for Chinese traders and investors, whether it is the exchange’s Chinese-language platform or its Chinese customer service, according to industry experts,” said CoinDesk.

And in November 2020, China-based traders moved nearly 19,000 BTC (worth around $300 million) from Huobi to Binance. This was prompted by the apparent disappearance of Huobi chief operating officer Robin Zhuin.

Further evidence that Binance’s claims are nothing more than shallow PR-speak comes courtesy of an investigation conducted by Chinese state media outlet CCTV.

Last June, a CCTV reporter claimed they set up an account with — the company’s Chinese platform — and purchased an amount of Bitcoin.

Other crypto exchanges are dumping Chinese crypto traders for Beijing.

Read more: [China’s crypto king pleads guilty to laundering $480M for online casinos, report]

This was said to have been done via the usual Binance channels and involved the uploading of all necessary documents and face verification using the Binance app.

CCTV’s correspondent then moved fiat from the platform to a counterparty with a third-party payment tool. They said Binance greenlit every step of the way.

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