Huobi Plans Return to US Months After Shuttering China Business

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

AccessTimeIconFeb 22, 2022 at 2:52 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:05 p.m. UTC

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

Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.