Philippines Orders Removal of Binance from Google and Apple App Stores

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered Google and Apple to remove cryptocurrency exchange Binance from their app stores. The regulator has accused Binance of offering unregistered securities to Filipinos and operating as an unregistered broker, which violates the country’s securities laws.

The SEC has identified Binance as a threat to the security of funds of investing Filipinos and has urged Google and Apple to remove the app from their respective marketplaces. The regulator has also warned the public against using Binance and has begun studying the possibility of blocking its services in the Philippines.

Binance has been actively promoting its services on social media to attract funds from Filipinos, despite not being licensed by the regulator. The SEC has urged Filipinos with investments in Binance to immediately close their positions or transfer their crypto holdings to their own crypto wallets or exchanges registered in the Philippines.  

This move by the Philippines SEC is the latest in a series of regulatory actions against Binance. The exchange has faced legal and business challenges in several countries, including the United States, where it has been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission over alleged mishandling of customer assets and the operation of an illegal, unregistered exchange.

Binance has recently replaced its CEO with Richard Teng, the former chief of UAE regulator Abu Dhabi Global Markets, after a U.S. government settlement ordering the company to pay a $4.3 billion fine for alleged money laundering violations. Former Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has been charged with violating the Bank Secrecy Act and has agreed to step down.