Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi is trying to expand its operations to the Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong, which is working on a new licensing regime, the company said via Twitter on 20 February.
According to the announcement, Huobi is looking to become one of the first fully regulated crypto exchanges in Hong Kong, and as such is now working on its application for a crypto trading license with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The company has also revealed plans to open a new exchange in the city called Huobi Hong Kong, which will focus on providing trading services to institutional investors and high net worth individuals in Hong Kong. Justin Sun wrote in a Twitter thread:
The news came shortly after the SFC released its newly proposed virtual assets trading platform licensing regime — which is scheduled to take effect in June 2023 — for public comment. One of the main aspects of the consultation paper is whether to allow retail investors access to licensed exchanges, and if yes, what protection measures should be put in place.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Sun said that Huobi’s expansion to the city was motivated by the government’s friendlier stance on crypto, and the possibility of serving retail investors. He also noted there are plans to increase Huobi’s staff head count in the city from 50 to 200, as well as move the exchange’s Asia headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong to capitalize on the city’s plans to establish itself as a digital asset hub.