Huobi China has joined a state-backed blockchain alliance envisioned to be one of the most influential infrastructure services providers in the country.
The Chinese branch of Huobi Group announced its membership in the Blockchain-Based Services Network (BSN) Development Alliance at its launch on Sunday in Hangzhou of Southern China, the company told CoinDesk.
Led by State Information Center (SIC), a think tank affiliated with the National Development and Research Commision, China’s highest central planning agency, the network is planning to offer infrastructure services for any Chinese or international entity that uses blockchain.
BSN was originally created by six institutions, including SIC and state-owned tech giants China Mobile and China UnionPay, the country’s answer to VISA and Mastercard.
The network would be tested in 54 cities across the country as well as Hong Kong and Singapore for projects such as smart city management, Wenchao Shi, president of China UnionPay said in October at the test announcement.
“When developing an app, people would think about Android and IOS systems,” Shi said. “We hope BSN would be the first thing that people would think whenever they want to develop their own blockchain technologies.”
Huobi China has been trying to steer away from crypto trading in the country and establish itself as a blockchain services provider since the 2017 crackdown on crypto exchanges.
In the same year, the company kicked off its global expansion and transferred its trading businesses to Singapore, Japan and South Korea with local operations in each country, according to a timeline provided on its website.
Headquartered in Hainan province, one of the southernmost parts of China, Huobi China firmed up its relationship with the Chinese government by establishing a Communist Party of China branch in its local blockchain subsidiary Beijing Lianhuo Information Services LLC in November 2018.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.