Justin Sun’s “darkest moment”: apologizes for “over-marketing” TRON to Chinese authorities, then deletes apology
Drama around Justin Sun’s lunch with Warren Buffett continues. Hours ago he published a statement on Weibo apologizing to the TRON community and Chinese authorities for “over-marketing.” He deleted the message shortly afterward—read the full translated message here.
Justin Sun publicly apologizes for “over-marketing”
A translation of the message from CryptoSlate’s China correspondent:
“Dear Friends, In the past few weeks, I had my darkest moment with sickness and tiredness. I suffered the biggest drama ever in my life from people’s doubting and questioning. I didn’t sleep the all night yesterday, and deeply reflected on my memories and was introspective of my behavior and words—I felt ashamed for my over-marketing. I want to deeply apologize to the public, media, leaders, and the related regulatory authority who cared about me.”
“I bought the Warren Buffett lunch because I admire him a lot and I have a huge passion for charity. The original reasons are good and simple. I cannot deny that I want to promote blockchain related business at the same time. However, because of my immature words, behavior, youth, and vigor, I spoke without thinking twice. It became a failing of over-marketing that was out of my control. It also generated a much unexpected outcome on me. I ignored the responsibility of being a public figure. This was not my original intent at all. During the process, I was excited, then worried, afraid, and now I’m regretful. This whole thing was a bad influence to society and attracted the scrutiny of regulatory authorities.”
“I want to say sorry again.”
First to break the news was cnLedger, a Twitter account that closely follows Chinese blockchain and cryptocurrency news events. Su Zhu, the co-founder of Three Arrows Capital, retweeted the information.
The message appears to be a response to drama related to his lunch with Warren Buffet and also appears to address allegations from Chinese news outlets claiming he is wanted by Chinese authorities. The Weibo post was deleted shortly after it went live.
Lunch with the Oracle of Omaha
On June 3, Justin Sun won a charity auction to have lunch with Warren Buffett with a record bid of $4.57 million. As part of the bid, he was permitted to bring up to seven guests with the lunch scheduled for July 25.
Sun initially set his sights high, inviting industry leaders including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee, and Binance founder Changpeng Zhao. He also extended an invitation to Donald Trump following the U.S. president’s derisive tweets toward Bitcoin and Libra. Of the four, only Charlie Lee accepted the invitation.
In the second round of invitations, Justin Sun invited Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, eToro CEO Yoni Assia, and Huobi CEO Livio Weng. All three accepted the invites. However, Justin Sun was still criticized for not inviting more influential industry leaders.
Sudden health problems and trouble with Chinese authorities?
On July 22, Justin Sun abruptly canceled the lunch, claiming he was in the hospital for “sudden kidney stones.” Sun and the TRON Foundation reaffirmed at the time that the donation to the Glide charity still stands.
Shortly after the kidney stones announcement, Chinese news publication the 21st Century Business Herald alleged the TRON network was being used to facilitate illegal gambling in the country and that Justin Sun’s social media app Peiwo was being used for pornography transactions. Furthermore, the report claimed he was still in the country.
Then, another Chinese media publication, Caixin, added another twist to the story. It claimed Sun was barred from leaving the country by Chinese authorities, piling on allegations of illegal fundraising and money laundering in addition to Sun’s alleged involvement in facilitating pornography and gambling transactions.
On Chinese social media app Weibo, Sun refuted the claims made by the two publications. He did not confirm his whereabouts at the time.
Justin Sun live streams from San Francisco
Social media was ablaze with speculation about Justin Sun’s whereabouts, with some claiming he was in the custody of Chinese authorities. To dispel the rumors, Sun posted a picture from San Francisco followed by an impromptu Periscope live stream.
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) July 23, 2019
“No I’m not feeling quite well but I think we’re going to postpone [the lunch]. But, I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
He went on to answer questions from the community, with his usual marketing vigor:
“TRON is one of the most successful [blockchains], also it’s a people governed network, fully decentralized, and distributed network. I have 100 percent confidence in the TRON network. Also, the BitTorrent product, as we know, is fully decentralized. Decentralization is always our number one priority.”
Sun also claimed that he feels much better now and will be back at “full speed” by July 26, the day after the intended date of the lunch.
— Justin Sun (@justinsuntron) July 24, 2019
TRON had initially scheduled to have lunch with Buffett on July 25 to coincide with the acquisition date of BitTorrent. For now, the meeting with Warren Buffett has been rescheduled to a later, unspecified date.