Phone showing Huobi Global

Huobi applies for trading license in Hong Kong ahead of upcoming regulations

Huobi Global’s Hong Kong-based subsidiary, Huobi Technology Holdings Co., Ltd, has lodged its application to become a regulated digital assets trading platform lodged before the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). 

In a press release via its official channel on the Chinese social media platform WeChat, Huobi Global stated that the application is for licenses to carry out securities trading and automated trading services in Hong Kong.

The post added that the application is in keeping with Hong Kong’s new Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Bill that will come into force in 2023. The bill, which was published in June, requires digital asset firms to be licensed by the SFC to operate in the country legally. 

“The amendment bill aims to strengthen Hong Kong’s regulatory regime to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Institutions engaged in operating virtual asset exchanges will have to apply for a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission,” the post said. 

It added that the SFC’s acceptance of Huobi’s application is a breakthrough and affirms the exchange’s regulatory compliance strengths. This is because data from the Hong Kong Bureau of Financial Services and the Treasury shows that the SFC has accepted only four such applications since 2019, when it first set up its virtual asset sandbox license system. 

The application acceptance comes at a time when Hong Kong, like many other regulators, has been moving to tighten digital assets regulations. Last month, the SFC said it might introduce licensing for some NFT platforms in addition to current licensing requirements for exchanges. 

Huobi gaining regulatory recognition globally 

Huobi Global has been proving that it is committed to embracing regulations over the years. This has seen the exchange get licensed by regulators in several countries in 2022 alone. 

Subsidiaries of the Seychelles-based firm have obtained various licenses to operate in several jurisdictions, including the UAE and New Zealand. CNBC also reports that Huobi is bidding to reenter the U.S. market as an asset manager after ending its exchange services in the country in 2018. While on June 13, Huobi Japan announced that it had begun listing BSV.

However, Huobi has also run into some trouble with regulators, including shutting down operations in Thailand. Similarly, Huobi’s high-profile exit from its home country China in 2021 cost the exchange about 30% of its revenue. 

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