The Longest Day for Justin Sun, Where is He and Where Tron to Go?
Tron CEO Justin Sun Yuchen has once again topped the hot search in China and caused a quite stir in the crypto community since the 28-year-old entrepreneur announced on early morning (05:49) of July 23 that his upcoming lunch with legendary investor Warren Buffett would be postponed due to kidney stones.
Upon the news, Tron price slumped over 10% in two hours. When people are suspicious that this marketing “guru” is once again playing some marketing stunts by deliberately postponing the lunch date with the world’s third-richest person on the excuse of some ridiculous medical problems, there came a variety of rumors including a widespread Wechat screenshot (which is likely faked), in which Sun told someone that the whole lunch thing was a set up.
“You’re funcking great in shorting TRX. Only you dare to make money from canceling lunch with Buffett,” an unidentified person said to Sun.
“I’ve emphasized many times that making money is of the ultimate importance. Everyone thinks that Buffett will give me a lesson during the lunch. Well, I’ll give him a lesson before the lunch,” Sun said.
With netizens making fun of Sun’s hype skill, then came reports pointing out that the rescheduling was actually due to legal issues rather than medical problems.
Hours after the announcement (at 11:28 Beijing time), a local business outlet 21st Century Business Herald published a report suggesting Sun was engaged in illegal fundraising, money laundering and porn.
In response to these allegations, Sun soon (at 12:23) denied all the wrongdoing via his Weibo account,
“The illegal fundraising accusation is wrong,” he said, claiming that Tron has always complied with Chinese laws ever since ICOs were banned there in 2017. Indeed, Sun said, “the Tron foundation is based in Singapore in compliance with local regulations and laws. … and does not involve any flow of capital, or any crypto or fiat currency onramp.” He continued that the App developed by his company which was alleged to spread porn was a social media software designed for young people and the company has cooperated with regulators in cleaning up porn on the platform.
Later in the evening around 23:00, a report from Caixin, a reputable financial news outlet based in Beijing, further stirred things up. It claimed that Sun had been detained in Beijing and prevented from leaving China for the aforementioned allegations.
Immediately (at 00:33) Sun took to Weibo (Twitter equivalent in China) that
“the Caixin report was completely untrue. I’m safe. When I recover, I will meet everyone. Didn’t mean to put you in worry!” An hour later at 1:39 July 24, Sun posted a photo and later a live video broadcast on Twitter to prove that he was in San Francisco.
While the story didn’t end there. At around 13:30 July 24, Caixin published a follow-up on Sun’s whereabouts, claiming that they previously indeed received confirmation from Sun’s company that Sun was in China but the guy stressed at that time that their dialogue could not be considered a formal response from the company. Multiple sources told Caijing that actually Sun had been grounded in China since June 2018 but he finally found his way getting out of the country to the U.S. last November and had stayed there since then.
These bizarre, back-and-forth news, coming on the eve of the lunch date with Warren Buffett, a meeting for which Sun had paid $4.57 million, makes the incident more confusing. Winning and rescheduling the Warren Buffett lunch has made Justin Sun a household name. While the post 90s young man, describing himself as “the best disciple of Jack Ma (founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba)” which has been denied by the latter, has been seen as a hype machine even a scammer by many entrepreneurs both from the crypto space and traditional financial sector in the country.
As of press time, Tron (TRX) has plunged around 18% since the lunch rescheduling announcement was made. Some cryptocurrency exchanges have decided to close TRX contract users’ position ahead of the scheduled delivery time and delist TRX contract forever.