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- The crypto whiz kid who paid $4.6 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett and invited Donald Trump to join them could cancel the meal entirely, says a host of CNBC Africa’s Crypto Trader.
- “My source believes the lunch won’t happen at all,” Ran Neuner tweeted on Saturday.
- The Chinese government disapproved of Justin Sun’s promotion of the charity meal given the current trade tensions between the US and China, Neuner said.
- The Tron and BitTorrent CEO hoped to convert Buffett and Trump, two skeptics of cryptocurrencies, into true believers during the meal.
- Here are 6 things to know about Sun, a protégé of Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
- View Markets Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The crypto whiz kid who paid $4.6 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett and invited Donald Trump to join them could permanently cancel the meal under pressure from the Chinese government, says a host of CNBC Africa’s Crypto Trader.
“Sources in China say the Chinese government believed that @justinsuntron “promoting” the Warren Buffett lunch was a ‘provocative’ act given current trade tensions,” Ran Neuner tweeted on Saturday. “He has been told not to pursue the lunch. My source believes the lunch won’t happen at all.”
Tron and BitTorrent CEO Justin Sun postponed the charity meal with Berkshire Hathaway’s billionaire boss last week, blaming a bout of kidney stones. He had planned to turn Buffett, a notorious crypto skeptic, into a true believer. He also offered the same opportunity to Trump.
“Mr. President, you are misled by fake news,” Sun tweeted after Trump attacked bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. “#Bitcoin & #Blockchain happens to be the best chance for US! I’d love to invite you to have lunch with crypto leaders along with @WarrenBuffett on July 25. I guarantee you after this lunch, nobody will know crypto more than you!”
Sun appears to be in trouble with the Chinese government. Caixin reported he delayed lunch with Buffett because he was barred from leaving China due to allegations including illegal fundraising, money laundering, and gambling. Sun denied the claims and broadcast a live video showing he was in San Francisco.
However, Chinese officials briefly detained several Tron executives then released them after Sun postponed the lunch, according to Bloomberg. Sun also posted a groveling public apology on Chinese social media, saying he regretted hyping up the lunch, vowed to put China’s interests before his own, and promised to retreat from the public eye.
Despite his pledge, Sun attended a Tron party with influencers on July 25 — the original date of the Buffett lunch — to celebrate the company’s acquisition of BitTorrent a year earlier. BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen soon added to the clouds over Sun by accusing him of not making the final payment for BitTorrent. Sun retweeted a reply from a Tron executive that said the funds in escrow no longer belonged to Sun.
Tron didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.