Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, commonly referred to as CZ within the cryptocurrency community, has filed a defamation lawsuit against Bloomberg Businessweek’s Hong Kong publisher Modern Media for defamation following headlines implying the Binance cryptocurrency exchange operates as a “Ponzi scheme.”
The defamation lawsuit, filed on July 25, follows a headline published via Bloomberg Businessweek translated as “Zhao Chanpeng’s Ponzi Scheme.” The article, within which Zhao is identified via image is available in English via Bloomberg Business’s “Can Crypto’s Richest Man Stand the Cold?” originally published June 23.
The same article published in Hong Kong via Modern Media, however, altered the headline to a different phrasing which, according to the lawsuit filed by Zhao, incites “hate, scorn, and derision.”
Notably, the Hong Kong version of the article presented the title across an image of Zhao and was published on the cover of the Chinese edition of the 250th issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.
250th Issue of Bloomberg Businessweek Identified in CZ Lawsuit
Statements issued within a motion of discovery filed by Zhao note that “No evidence was put forth to even remotely substantiate the allegation that Zhao was involved in a Ponzi scheme,” highlighting specific passages within the article that identify the exchange as “sketchy” and reference anonymous trader quotes that refer to Binance as a “a massive shitcoin casino.”
Comments published by Bloomberg via Business Insider highlight the disparity between Bloomberg Businessweek and Chinese language edition publisher Modern Media.
“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.”
Social media statements published by Zhao subsequent to the release of the Chinese language edition allege that Bloomberg altered the story prior to publishing and intentionally depict the Binance CEO in a negative aspect.
Bloomberg: hey, we will do a nice profile piece on you, invite you for photoshoots, etc. Then switches the story last minute. Ignore all positive comments they got from 3rd parties. Picked only old negatives. And still puts you on the cover. WTF!? Unprofessional.— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) June 24, 2022
Zhao’s latest lawsuit leveled at Bloomberg Business follows legal actions taken by the Binance founder in 2020 in which Binance filed a lawsuit against Forbes for alleged defamatory statements. Prior lawsuits brought forward by Zhao include a 2019 lawsuit filed against venture capital firm Sequoia in 2019.