Huobi Plans Return to US Months After Shuttering China Business

The company will focus on asset management instead of an exchange business.

Feb 22, 2022 at 2:52 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 22, 2022 at 8:01 p.m. UTC

Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

Chinese crypto exchange Huobi plans to reenter the U.S. market, months after it shut down its business in China to comply with a regulatory crackdown.

  • "I expect asset management to be a bigger business than exchange, which echoes the traditional finance market as well,” co-founder Du Jun said in a translated interview published Tuesday by CNBC. Having an exchange is not a "necessary element" to enter the U.S., he said.
  • Huobi lost about a third of its revenue from September to December 2021, when it expelled China-based accounts to comply with a Sept. 24 ban on crypto-related transactions in the country, Du said in a November interview with the Financial Times.
  • Earlier in the year, after an initial crackdown from Chinese authorities in May, Huobi had scrambled to move its China staff overseas.
  • Huobi Group, of which the Huobi Global exchange is part, entered the U.S. in 2018 and exited in December 2019 citing regulatory concerns. "We didn’t have a strong commitment to the market at that time, and we didn’t have a good management team in the U.S.," Du said, according to CNBC.
  • In 2020, Huobi Tech acquired a trust license in Nevada through a wholly owned local subsidiary. Huobi Tech is a Hong Kong-listed entity that is separate from Huobi Group. The two share a common founder, Leon Li.
  • Huobi Group officially announced it set up an Asia-Pacific region headquarters in Singapore in November. The company is also looking for a base in Europe.
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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

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