HTX affiliate Huobi Hong Kong withdraws crypto licence application for second time, must shut down by August

HTX affiliate Huobi Hong Kong withdraws crypto licence application for second time, must shut down by August

The Hong Kong affiliate of cryptocurrency exchange HTX, formerly Huobi Global, has for the second time withdrawn its application for a licence to operate a virtual asset trading platform (VATP) in the city, forcing it to close operations as required by the city’s regulations.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has removed HBGL Hong Kong Limited from a list of cryptocurrency exchange licence applicants on Tuesday after the firm withdrew the application for its platform Huobi HK, according to the SFC website.

HBGL first submitted its application on February 20 before withdrawing on February 23. The company then resubmitted an application on February 26, only a few days before Hong Kong’s February 29 deadline for crypto exchanges hoping to operate legally in the city.

Huobi HK has not publicly disclosed the reason for its latest withdrawal, or whether it was instructed by the SFC to do so. In either case, HBGL must cease operating its exchange in the city within three months.

HTX adviser Justin Sun, who is also the founder of cryptocurrency company Tron, announced last year that the exchange planned to get licensed in Hong Kong. Photo: Bloomberg

Under Hong Kong’s new virtual asset regime, the SFC may send a notice to a firm if it does not qualify for a so-called deeming arrangement, in which the platform is deemed to be licensed from June 1 while it awaits full approval for a licence. Businesses that fail to qualify are required to shut down by May 31 or within three months of being notified by the SFC, whichever is later.

HBGL did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

HTX, founded in Beijing in 2013, is the world’s sixth-largest crypto exchange by 24-hour trading volume, according to data from market tracker CoinGecko.

HTX first announced its plans to pursue a licence in Hong Kong in February last year through a statement its adviser Justin Sun posted on Twitter, now X.

The company has since declared publicly that HBGL, which was pursuing the licence for Huobi HK, is “independently managed and operated” and is not involved in HTX’s management and operation.

HTX is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange started in mainland China to be thwarted in its bid to obtain a Hong Kong licence under a new scheme that has proven to be costly and have onerous compliance requirements.

HKVAEX, which the Post reported last year is a local firm backed by the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, also withdrew its Hong Kong licence application last month. It announced that it was shutting down just three months after submitting its application.

There are now 20 applicants for Hong Kong’s VATP licence, with OKX,, Bybit and Bullish among the largest.



Read More

Leave a Reply