Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao on Monday launched a legal battle against Modern Media CL., Bloomberg Businessweek’s Hong Kong publisher, accusing it of defaming him. In his lawsuit, Zhao — who is the world’s richest crypto billionaire — said the publisher portrayed him as someone who is running a “Ponzi scheme.” The article was a translated Chinese language version, which, according to the suit, had a misconstrued headline. Also Read - India gets its first crypto index, IC15: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin take top positions
Bloomberg Businessweek published an article titled “Can Crypto’s Richest Man Stand the Cold?” on June 23. The publisher’s Hong Kong subsidiary picked it up and translated it into Chinese. However, in doing so, it ran a different headline. Zhao’s representative said the headline was in such a way as to spur “hatred, contempt, and ridicule” for the crypto exchange chief. The Chinese title when translated to English reads: “Zhao Changpeng’s Ponzi Scheme.” Also Read - Bitcoin was not the most viewed crypto in 2021, the spot was taken by Shiba Inu: CoinMarketCap
A team representing Zhao asked Modern Media to retract the headline and recall all the printed copies from newsstands. Zhao also sought a restraining order to stop the publisher from spreading the negative portrayal any further. Modern Media has agreed to his demands partly. But Zhao did not stop there. He filed a motion for discovery against Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Inc. in the US separately over “defamatory allegations” in the article. Also Read - Top five cryptocurrencies by market cap
In the suit filed in the US, Zhao has cited the negative depiction of Binance as “sketchy”, accredited to an anonymous quote from a trader that referred Binance to as a “massive shitcoin casino.” He alleged that these lines in the profile piece “were obviously designed to mislead readers into believing” that he was violating the law.
This is, however, not the first time for Binance. In 2020, Binance sued Forbes over allegedly defamatory remarks in an article. While it dropped the charges made in a suit last year, the crypto exchange made a strategic investment in Forbes sometime later. Zhao has also previously moved the court against venture capital firm Sequoia over alleged defamation.