Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has decided to leave China after Beijing tightened the regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. The company has also ruled out the possibility of further work in the country, Bloomberg reports.
According to the publication, at the September 24 shareholders meeting, Huobi’s founders and investors “unanimously supported” leaving the Chinese market.
Later on the same day, the State Committee for Development and Reforms of the PRC pointed out the negative impact of mining on the environment and its “insignificant” contribution to the country’s economy. The Chinese central bank said that all activities of platforms that exchange digital assets between themselves or for fiat are illegal.
Huobi has stopped registering new users in mainland China and announced it will remove all existing accounts by December 31.
Huobi co-founder Du Jun said in an interview with Bloomberg:
“In the past, we talked with regulators to find out if there are still ways to legally operate in the PRC. But this time there is no room for discussion.”
According to him, the company planned to leave the jurisdiction from the beginning of 2021. The original plan, backed by investors Sequoia China and ZhenFund, was to shut down Chinese user accounts, so the “surprise announcement by the authorities” has only accelerated the process.