Tron crypto founder Justin Sun apologizes for conduct, denies reports of China travel ban

Daniel Roberts
Senior Writer

Controversial Chinese crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun surprised everyone on Tuesday by postponing his $4.56 million charity lunch with Warren Buffett. Now Sun is apologizing for his own conduct.

In a post on Wednesday on the social media network Weibo, Sun writes that his bid for the Buffett lunch originated from his admiration of Buffett, his love of charity, and his desire to promote the blockchain industry.

But Sun now says his own “selfishness” and “immature words and deeds” detracted from the effort.

Sun also writes that his “mouth” got in the way of his good intentions. He refers to his own efforts as “failed over-marketing, which has generated a lot of consequences that I completely did not expect.”

Sun concludes that he will be “closing the door” for a period of time, posting less on social media and reducing press interviews to focus on blockchain technology.

Sun’s spokesperson still says the lunch with Buffett is postponed, not canceled.

A spokesperson for Warren Buffett tells Yahoo Finance that Buffett “is not commenting on anything in respect to Justin Sun.”

Glide Foundation, the charity behind the Buffett lunch, tweeted on Tuesday that it has received the full donation from Sun.

Chinese cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun speaks at a financial forum in Beijing, China November 4, 2015. Picture taken November 4, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer

Will Sun’s lunch with Buffett ever happen?

In an interview with Yahoo Finance in June, Sun said his goal for the Buffett lunch is to change Buffett’s mind about cryptocurrencies. “It might be unrealistic to convince Warren Buffett, just in three hours, to buy cryptocurrencies,” Sun acknowledged. “But we want to show him the recent progress of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.”

The lunch was set for this week, and Sun had even invited other crypto entrepreneurs, like Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire, to join the lunch. On Monday, Sun postponed the lunch, saying he was sick with kidney stones.

But then came reports from multiple Chinese outlets suggesting there may have been other reasons for his postponement.

Reports of a China travel ban

Chinese media outlet Caixin reported that Sun was being held in China due to an exit ban. Caixin also reported that Sun has been on a border control list since June 2018 and had trouble leaving China for a trip in July 2018 for that reason.

Caixin’s report came after a report from 21st Century Business Herald that Sun was in trouble in China for illegal fundraising and pornography transactions.

The flurry of negative attention sent Tronix (TRX-USD), the cryptocurrency Sun founded, plunging by as much as 20%.

Price of cryptocurrency Tron stumbled this week since founder Justin Sun postponed lunch with Warren Buffett.

Sun denies reports that he has been banned from leaving China, and on Tuesday afternoon went live on Twitter from a room in San Francisco, with the Bay Bridge visible through the window behind him, to prove that he was not in China.

“I’m feeling better,” he said, though he did not answer live questions from viewers asking him to address the reports.

“We are not aware of any travel ban,” Sun’s spokesperson now tells Yahoo Finance in an email. “My understanding is that Chinese authorities would have to subpoena Justin and tell him he is a person of interest in an investigation for him to be placed on a border control list (going either way). Justin has received no such subpoena.”

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Daniel Roberts is a senior writer and show host at Yahoo Finance. Follow him @readDanwrite.

Krystal Hu is a reporter at Yahoo Finance who covers tech and China. Follow her @readKrystalhu.

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