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Huobi Exchange Stops Accepting Chinese Users After Crypto Crackdown

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Huobi, China's largest Bitcoin exchange, has stopped accepting users registering with Chinese mainland numbers.
  • Chinese authorities specifically halted overseas exchanges from offering services to its Residents on Friday, 24 September.
  • This comes in the wake of People's Bank of China banning all crypto-related transactions.
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China’s largest Bitcoin Exchange Huobi has implemented a measure to stop mainland Chinese residents from registering on its platform by preventing the addition of accounts with Chinese mainland phone numbers, to comply with recent Chinese crackdown on crypto.

Huobi to prevent registration of new Chinese accounts

Huobi Global, often regarded as one of the “big three” in the global cryptocurrency exchange space, together with Binance and OKEx, has sought to comply with new regulations which have recently come into effect in China. The firm, founded in 2013 by Leon Li in Beijing, is now preventing registration of new accounts on its exchange that make use of Chinese mainland phone numbers. Onboarding of new users has not been halted in Hong Kong, however.

There is no indication that Chinese users are barred from Huobi entirely. This is not Huobi’s first run-in with Chinese authorities; it comes after the Chinese government in 2017 banned the hosting of trades between cryptocurrencies and fiat money, to which Huobi responded by disallowing withdrawals from its exchange. In June 2021, Huobi banned Chinese users from trading riskier derivative-type products, in response to a crackdown by the Chinese cabinet. In July 2021, Huobi dissolved its Beijing entity.

Huobi experiencing resistance from Asian Governments

Nine Chinese government institutions, together with the People’s Bank of China have banned overseas exchanges from enlisting Chinese labor to fill marketing, payment and tech jobs, amongst others. Huobi has over 1300 employees worldwide in 170 countries. The People’s Bank of China has also announced that all crypto-related transactions are now regarded as illegal in China. Huobi has also faced regulatory pushback in Thailand recently, with the Thai SEC requiring the exchange to return all assets to customers in early September 2021, after it was determined by the body that Huobi was operating with an inadequate management structure.

Huobi still has global reach

Huobi Global was created in 2013, to make breakthroughs in core blockchain technology, and to bridge the gap between blockchain and other industries. Huobi has expanded into public chains, digital asset trading and wallets, derivatives, mining pools and digital asset research. Hubi has recently launched the Global DeFi Alliance to establish and promote best practices in the industry, advance DeFi research, and to promote DeFi East-West collaboration.

It has also launched a digital asset mining pool called Primepool, through which users can participate in asset-locking activities and gain rewards through staking assets on Primepool. Huobi’s headquarters are based in the Seychelles, but have entities in jurisdictions like Singapore, Malta, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and the United States of America. Huobi is publicly listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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