Huobi Global to Expel Singapore Users, Citing Local Regulations

The exchange is looking to expand overseas to make up for lost Chinese users.

AccessTimeIconNov 10, 2021 at 4:55 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:22 p.m. UTC

Crypto exchange Huobi Global will close the accounts of all Singapore-based users by March 31, 2022, to comply with local regulations, the exchange said in a statement on Tuesday.

  • Huobi claims to be expanding its overseas presence to make up for expelling Chinese users, which represent half of its total user base and 30% of its revenue, according to co-founder Du Jun and Global Strategy Director Jeff Mei.
  • After China’s central bank launched yet another crackdown on crypto trading, Huobi announced it will be phasing out mainland China accounts by the end of 2021.
  • Singapore, known as a crypto hub, has been included in Huobi’s list of restricted jurisdictions, the statement said. The exchange advised users to withdraw their funds and close their positions before the end of March.
  • Users from the U.S., Canada, Cuba, Iran, Japan, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Crimea are also prohibited from trading on the platform, according to a July 26 user agreement. However, Singapore was also included on that list.
  • Huobi did not provide any further details.
  • Dozens of crypto firms have applied for Singapore’s Payment Services Act (PSA) licenses, including Binance’s local affiliate. Huobi has also applied for a digital token payment license under PSA through its local affiliate Feu International, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) website.
  • Huobi had moved swathes of its staff to the city-state over the summer in preparation for a renewed crackdown in China, CoinDesk reported.
  • Feu International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Huobi Tech, a Hong Kong-listed company that is separate from Huobi Global, according to Huobi Tech’s annual report for 2020. The two have a common shareholder and founder, Leon Li.
  • On Sept. 2, MAS issued an investor warning over Binance’s global website. A few days later, the exchange stopped offering Singapore dollar trading pairs.


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Eliza Gkritsi

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