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China’s Hainan Welcomes Cryptocurrency Exchange Huobi

Huobi, world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, has moved its headquarter of Huobi China and its global operating center to Hainan on September 28, settling in Hainan Ecological Software Park.

It is a result of local government’s efforts to spur regional growth by introducing high-tech industry, including the innovative blockchain sector.

Huobi China (Not Huobi Global, nor Huobi Pro) thus becomes the first leading blockchain company to locate its headquarter in Hainan, the smallest and southernmost province of China, where the central government has intensified efforts to promote the reform and opening-up there.

Founded in 2013, Huobi Group has become the leading global blockchain asset financial service provider, consisting of Huobi OTC, Huobi Autonomous Digital Asset Exchange, Huobi Pro, Huobi China, Huobi Mining Pool, just to name a few. Its crypto exchange whose global user base is claimed to be more than five million is currently ranked third by trading volume.

As its CEO Leon Li said in his new year resolution that “by the end of 2018, Huobi will strive to attain 95% of the world’s market share by establishing multiple localized operations centers”, Huobi has accelerated its expansion this year with plans in Canada, Europe, Australia, Indonesia and Japan. Last month, Huobi bought 73.73% stake of a Hong Kong-listed company named Pantronics via reverse takeover.

The Beijing-born group is eyeing on China again after the Chinese government announced the country will set up an international free trade zone by 2020 on the island of Hainan. Soon this May, Huobi was one-step ahead to launch a $1 billion blockchain fund in Hainan, which wan favor from local government; and now the company moved its Huobi China there.

Considering the country’s ban on initial coin offering (ICO) and crypto trading, Huobi China has 5 divisions – Huobi Research Institute, Huobi University (China), Huobi Labs (China), Huobi Talent and Huobi Lawyer, maily focusing on technology, incubation, personnel training, as well as legal services; while Huobi’s core business – cryptocurrency trading platform – is not included in the company’s China arm. It remains to be seen whether the country will reopen the gate for this business in the future.


People close to Huobi’s senior managers said it was another effort by the company to go public by later buying Huobi China via its public company Pantronics following its CEO Leon Li intensified efforts on internal audit to punish corruption within the company.


Screenshot of Leon’s wechat moment on the company’s internal audit

Regarding this, senior managers in Huobi did not agree with the claim, nor did they deny it. If it’s true, it would be a strong boost for the cryptocurrency sphere in the country since several Chinese private firms in the sector has applied for initial public offerings (IPOs) in Hong Kong, including bitcoin miner makers Bitmain, Canaan as well as Ebang.

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