Binance CEO Sues Bloomberg’s Chinese Publisher Over Unflattering Magazine Cover

A Chinese version of a Bloomberg Businessweek cover story about Binance portrayed Zhao as a Ponzi Scheme master.

Founder and CEO of Binance Changpeng Zhao Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, on July 25 filed a defamation lawsuit against Modern Media CL, the publisher of the Bloomberg Businessweek magazine in Hong Kong, over the headline of a translated Chinese language article that portrayed Zhao as running a “Ponzi scheme.”

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The suit centers on a cover story of Zhao in Businessweek published on June 23 titled “Can Crypto’s Richest Man Stand the Cold?” But in Hong Kong, a Chinese version of the article was run with a headline that would translate into “Zhao Changpeng’s Ponzi Scheme.”

Zhao complained in the suit the headline spurred “hatred, contempt and ridicule” and demanded a retraction. He also called for the magazine’s removal from newsstands in Hong Kong and a restraining order to stop Modern Media from further spreading the article.

Also on June 25, Zhao filed a motion for discovery against Businessweek’s owner, New York-based Bloomberg LP, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claiming “defamatory allegations” in the Businessweek article.

“We understand that Binance has filed a lawsuit against Modern Media, a company based in China that publishes a Chinese language edition of Bloomberg Businessweek and that published a translated version of a Businessweek story that first ran on June 23,” Bloomberg responded in a statement. “The lawsuit refers to a headline that was not published in the original English language version of the story.”

Zhao is worth $17.4 billion, according to Forbes.

Binance CEO Sues Bloomberg’s Chinese Publisher Over Unflattering Magazine Cover