Huobi, China's biggest crypto exchange, picks Singapore as Asia base

Huobi Group is the operator of China's largest cryptocurrency exchange. PHOTO: HUOBI GLOBAL/FACEBOOK

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Huobi Group, the operator of China's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has picked Singapore as its regional headquarters while choosing to have another location for Europe.

Singapore becomes the company's new base after it recently shifted focus outside its original home of Beijing, co-founder Du Jun said in reply to queries from Bloomberg News. Mr Du has been based in the city-state since he returned to Huobi at the end of last year. The firm is planning to set up another regional headquarters in either France or Britain in 2023, he said.

While Huobi has had employees running an exchange business out of Singapore for years, the set-up of an official headquarters in the city-state signals a further breakaway from its home country, which in September banned all crypto transactions and services on the mainland. Huobi, founded in China in 2013, has said it will offload all China users by the end of this year.

South-east Asia is an attractive market where the number of trading users quadrupled over the past month, Mr Du said.

Huobi International, incorporated in Singapore in August, counts Mr Li Lin, the other founder of the Chinese firm, as the majority shareholder, according to a filing to the city-state's Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority. The other two shareholders are Atlas Value and Zhen Partners Fund I, LP, the filing shows.

Huobi Technology Holdings, an affiliate entity listed in Hong Kong, also set up another firm known as Huobi Singapore, which is seeking a licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

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