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Report: Chinese government restricts Justin Sun’s travel, scuttling his lunch with Warren Buffett

Celia Wan

Chinese news site Caixin reported that TRON founder Justin Sun has been subjected to border control by the Chinese government, effectively nixing his much-anticipated lunch with Warren Buffett.

Sun was charged by a special committee on internet safety appointed by the State Council for his alleged involvement with money laundering, illegal fundraising, spreading pornography, and gambling. The special committee is suggesting that relevant law enforcement agencies arrest Sun, the report writes. 

Sources familiar with the matter told The Block that Sun is currently in San Francisco. However, his reported border control restriction imposed by the Chinese government means he may not be able to leave the country again once he lands in China. Given the attention that Sun is attracting from China's regulators, sources said that Sun may have decided to stay low-key by not attending the lunch with Buffett. 

The Sun-Buffett lunch was scheduled for July 25 in San Francisco. However, on July 23, Sun posted on Chinese social media site Weibo that he was canceling the lunch due to health concerns. The TRON Foundation, however, said in a tweet that the lunch was only postponed. 

Sun announced that he won the bid for a lunch with Wall Street giant Warren Buffett to much fanfare. After shelling out $4.57 million for the opportunity to bend The Oracle of Omaha's ear, Sun promoted the event several times on both Twitter and Weibo, suggesting that he would like to change Buffett’s mind on cryptocurrencies. 

Besides founding TRON and serving as CEO of BitTorrent, Sun also owned another firm named Peiwo (based in Guangzhou) that was recently dissolved, according to China’s national enterprise registration website. Meanwhile, the Peiwo mobile application was publicly accused by China’s national media outlet Xinhua as spreading pornographic content and offering escort services. 

Sun just posted on Weibo that Caixin's report was not "completely not true" and that once he feels better he will make a public appearance. 

An earlier version of this story stated that Sun is restricted from leaving China, however it has since been updated that Sun is on the country's border control list, and currently in San Francisco.