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Philippines orders removal of Binance from Google and Apple app stores

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered Google and Apple to remove the cryptocurrency exchange Binance from their app stores.

The regulator requested that Binance-controlled apps be removed from Google Play and Apple App Stores, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.

SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino stated that the Philippine public’s continuous access to Binance websites and apps “poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos.”

The agency accused Binance of providing unregistered securities to Filipinos and acting as an unregistered broker, claiming that this violated the country’s securities rules.

CNBC contacted Binance, Google, and Apple, but they were not immediately available for comment.

Aquino stated that removing Binance from the Google and Apple app stores will help “prevent the further proliferation of its illegal activities in the country, and to protect the investing public from the detrimental effects on our economy.”

The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission has previously moved to prohibit access to Binance’s websites in the nation.

The SEC claims it previously cautioned the Philippine public against using Binance and began investigating the prospect of suspending Binance’s services in the Philippines as early as November of last year.

According to the SEC, Binance has been actively pushing its services on social media to garner funds from Filipinos despite not being licensed by the government.

The watchdog urged Filipino investors in Binance to terminate their positions immediately or transfer their crypto holdings to their own Philippine-registered crypto wallets or exchanges.

The action adds to Binance’s litany of woes, which recently replaced its CEO with Richard Teng, the former CEO of UAE regulator Abu Dhabi Global Markets, in November 2023, following a US government settlement ordering the company to pay a $4.3 billion fine for alleged money laundering violations.

Changpeng Zhao, the former CEO of Binance, was charged with breaking the Bank Secrecy Act and has agreed to leave down. Zhao is set to be sentenced on April 30.

Binance has been sued separately by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for allegedly mishandling customer assets and operating an illegal, unregistered exchange in the United States.



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