Huobi Global, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, plans to expand its operations in Hong Kong, anticipating that Mainland China will soon follow the city’s recent pro-crypto shift, Huobi chief and digital asset tycoon Justin Sun told Bloomberg TV on Friday. 

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Fast facts

  • Chinese entrepreneur Leon Li Lin founded Huobi in Beijing in 2013, riding on China’s crypto boom to become one of the largest exchanges in the world. However, the company moved operations out of China after Beijing in 2021 declared all crypto transactions illegal.
  • Sun, an advisor to Huobi who bought a 60% stake in the company last year, said the increased focus on the Hong Kong market is due to its status as “one of the experiment zones for crypto development in China.” 
  • Hong Kong saw an exodus of crypto companies in 2021 due to China’s ban and tighter regulations on retail investors within the city. But this year, Hong Kong has signaled a willingness to regain its status as a digital-asset center, aiming to reform its regulation and promote growth in the sector. 
  • This contrasts with other financial centers like Singapore that are tightening regulation in the wake of crypto winter and high profile collapses of crypto firms like FTX. 
  • Sun added that in addition to Hong Kong, Huobi’s other key regions for business are Malaysia and the Caribbean. 
  • Sun, 32, entered the crypto world by founding the Tron blockchain and cryptocurrency in 2017. He stepped down from an official role with the network in 2021 when he became Grenada’s ambassador to the World Trade Organization. 

See related article: Huobi plans Southeast Asia, Europe, Caribbean expansion