RenrenBit says co-founder Dong Zhao is 'not arrested' by Chinese police

RenrenBit, the top Chinese crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading firm, has officially said that its co-founder Dong Zhao is "not arrested" by police, quashing rumors and reports from last week.

Calling those reports "fake," a RenrenBit spokesperson told The Block on Tuesday: "We solemnly declare that Mr. Zhao is not arrested. We can confirm that now he is assisting the police with inquiries."

The spokesperson declined to provide details of those inquiries. "Before the police complete the investigation, very sorry that we will not" offer additional information.


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Last week, there were reports that Zhao is being held up by Chinese police, as the country's authorities move to crack down on illegal economic activities, including those involving crypto.

Last month, Chinese police reportedly froze around 4,000 bank accounts of crypto OTC traders as part of a broader investigation into illegal activities such as money laundering.

The RenrenBit reports created chaos in the crypto community, given the firm's dominant position in the Chinese OTC market. Just a week before those reports, 3,542 bitcoins (worth about $33 million at the time) were transferred from RenrenBit to an unknown wallet, according to Whale Alert

It is worth noting that Chinese regulators are yet to greenlight peer-to-peer (P2P) and OTC crypto trading activities. The country's regulators moved to ban centralized crypto exchanges in September 2017. However, Chinese citizens can still buy crypto via P2P platforms or OTC trading desks.

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Yogita Khatri is a senior reporter at The Block, covering all things crypto. As one of the earliest team members, Yogita has played a pivotal role in breaking numerous stories, exclusives and scoops. With nearly 3,000 articles under her belt, Yogita holds the records as The Block's most-published and most-read author of all time. Prior to joining The Block, Yogita worked at crypto publication CoinDesk and The Economic Times, where she wrote on personal finance. To contact her, email: [email protected]. For her latest work, follow her on X @Yogita_Khatri5.