Binance co-founder’s tone-deaf post sparks online uproar

He Yi, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Binance, found herself at the center of an online uproar after she posted a satiric job offer recruiting for sexy women to come work at the cryptocurrency exchange. Yi’s Weibo post was first noticed by Molly Li, marketing director of HashKey Hub, who then circulated images of the social media post on Twitter. It quickly went viral, with many expressing their disappointment in Binance and pointing to broader concerns with how women are viewed within the cryptocurrency industry. 

“We’re looking for a woman with a beautiful, large chest; someone who’s been a webcaster before, and priority is given to those born after 00. Send a CV,” the help wanted message read. The post was allegedly meant in jest and in response to her frustration with some netizens criticism that Yi was “an old single mother who should look after her kid at home.”  

Yi’s Weibo post was soon followed by Binance, announcing a new customer service employee, nickname 六六, that coincidentally fit the profile of the inappropriate social media post. Racy Christmas photos from the employee’s personal social media began circulating online. In a since-deleted bizarre tweet, Yi said that the “talented girl (who happens to be hot)” started yesterday, “and worked until 3 am to respond to clients’ questions in the community.”

In an interview with Decrypt, a spokesperson for Binance tried to pass the whole ordeal off as a misunderstanding, saying, “For intercultural communication, sometimes literal translations hardly convey the implication and sarcasm. What she truly wants to express is that we will all age. Binance never hires people by their looks.” The spokesperson also noted that Yi’s English is not very proficient. After being informed that “hot” is not a suitable word to use when describing employees, Yi deleted her first two tweets.

Binance’s response did not quiet the outrage as Li noted on Twitter that “You can’t blame on cultural misunderstanding,” adding, “As a woman working in this industry, I am massively offended… it will increase the chance that women get harass in this industry.” Yi valid frustration notwithstanding, as influential as she is the CMO for one of the largest global crypto exchanges should find a more constructive way to point out hypocrisy and fight back against toxic online trolls. 

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