OKEx Founder Star Xu Shares First Social Media Post in Months After Police Investigation

The saga of OKEx, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges to come out of China, is nowhere near its end. The industry giant has been plagued with controversies for the better part of the last two years, mostly due to the battle between the company’s founders to regain control of the exchange.

However, the internal struggle within the company was further exacerbated this fall, when Star Xu, the company’s founder, was detained and questioned by the police. Xu’s arrest came as a surprise to the crypto industry both in China and overseas, as the Chinese police presented no case for his detention. Many speculated that the company was under investigation for tax and regulation evasion—while founded in China, OKEx is only nominally a Chinese company. While the exchange holds offices in Beijing and Shanghai, employing mostly Chinese nationals, it’s registered in Malta and has its official addresses in Malaysia.

Xu’s detention also had a devastating impact on the exchange itself—OKEx paused its withdrawals for five whole weeks, as Xu was one of the key holders required to access the exchange’s cryptocurrency reserves. This led to thousands of disgruntled customers and a massive outflow of BTC from the platform to other exchanges once withdrawals were resumed.

Since then, the company has been on a roll with new features, updates, and functionalities, but has remained mostly silent on the issue of Star Xu and his detention. 

However, after almost two months of social media silence, the exchange’s founder appeared on Weibo, China’s foremost social media platform. Xu’s post garnered a lot of attention, as his account was completely emptied of all posts and activity once he was detained by the police in early October.

Xu’s first post didn’t help clarify the reason behind his detention. The founder of the exchange shared his dissatisfaction with how certain industry figures treated him in his absence. He said that while being a blockchain entrepreneur requires people to handle all kinds of media attacks, the slander he suffered online while detained will be handled through the police.

“As an entrepreneur in the field of blockchain, I have to face and bear all kinds of questions and arguments and become the laughing stock of everyone,” he wrote in his post. “However, we will take up legal weapons to defend our legitimate rights and interests against deliberate smearing, slander, and rumors, believing that the internet is not a place outside the law.”

In his post, Xu shared screengrabs of several emails he got from Chinese bloggers and industry figures, in which they shared their apologies for making inappropriate comments about him. 

The first apology came from Zheng Liang, a popular Weibo personality affiliated with the Sogou high-speed browser. He apologized for making inappropriate comments from 2019 to 2019 that “violated” Star Xu’s reputation. 

“I deeply apologize for the above-mentioned actions,” he wrote in the email.

Screengrab showing one of the email apologies Xu included in his post. (Source: Weibo)

The other two apologies came from popular Weibo bloggers, both of whom have also apologized for publishing posts and articles that have damaged Xu’s reputation. All of the posts they mentioned seem to have been removed, but it still remains unclear what Xu wanted to achieve by publishing their apologies. We are yet to see whether he files charges against people that haven’t posted public apologies.

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