Splitit Redefining Retail May 2024 Banner

Philippines Wants Binance Yanked From Apple and Google App Stores

Cryptocurrency giant Binance could soon find it harder to do business in the Philippines.

The country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Tuesday (April 23) called on Apple and Google to remove Binance’s app from their app stores, a move that followed months of the regulator warning residents not to do business with the company.

Commission Chairperson Emilio Aquino said in a news release that it had “concluded that the public’s continued access to these websites/apps poses a threat to the security of the funds of investing Filipinos.”

He added that the sale or offer of unregistered securities to Filipinos and operating as an unregistered broker violates the country’s securities code and that blocking Binance’s apps will “prevent the further proliferation of its illegal activities in the country, and to protect the investing public from its detrimental effects on our economy.”

PYMNTS has contacted Binance for comment but has not yet gotten a reply.

The SEC first targeted Binance last year, with the regulator announcing in November that it was blocking access to Binance, saying the company was not a registered corporation in the Philippines authorized to sell or offer securities. As noted here at the time, it was part of a broader series of pressures facing the company in Asia.

Tuesday’s SEC news release notes that the agency had also asked the country’s National Telecommunications Commission to restrict access to websites used by Binance in the Philippines to “stop its unauthorized investment solicitation activities in the country.”

The requests follow similar moves by regulators in India, who earlier this year asked Google and Apple to remove Binance and other crypto companies from the app stores in that country.

And in December of last year, India’s Financial Intelligence Unit moved to block the URLs of nine offshore virtual digital asset service providers — Binance among them — saying these companies were not adhering to the country’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Binance is also facing money laundering and tax evasion allegations in Nigeria, where two of its executives are being held after their arrest in February. Binance CEO Richard Teng said last week that the company is working with Nigerian authorities to resolve the matter, according to a Reuters report.