Huobi Global, the once-popular crypto exchange in China, has been bought by About Capital • TechCrunch


Huobi Global, once China’s top crypto exchange, has reorganized since exiting the domestic market following Beijing’s crypto ban. Today, the company is about to be taken over by an investment company.

Huobi Global announced today that its majority shareholder has completed the transaction to sell its entire stake to About Capital, a Hong Kong-based fund management company set up by Ted Chen, who founded the Chinese hedge fund giant Greenwoods Asset Management. This confirms an earlier report from Bloomberg that found founder Leon Li looking to sell his majority stake for more than $1 billion, valuing the swap at $3 billion.

Founded in 2013, Huobi Global took advantage of China’s crypto boom before Beijing declared all crypto transactions illegal in 2021. Parent company Huobi Group now operates an array of crypto-related entities, including its flagship exchange Huobi Global, its venture capital arm Huobi Ventures, and a crypto cloud service.

Huobi Global and rival Binance said they had stopped serving China-based customers since the ban. While Binance launched its global expansion long before the crackdown, Huobi Global appears to have been hit hard by the regulatory change, as a large portion of its users were still in China. The trading platform reportedly laid off 30% of its workforce this summer after its withdrawal from China reduced its revenue.

The About Capital takeover will not affect Huobi’s “core operations and business management teams”, the announcement said. The exact amount of the deal has not been disclosed, but it appears the new parent is providing much-needed capital to help the exchange weather its financial troubles and go global amid a crypto rout.

According to About Capital, Huobi Global “will adopt a series of new international brand promotion and business expansion initiatives, including a global strategic advisory board led by leading industry figures, capital injection sufficient in the margin and risk provision fund, as well as measures to further strengthen competitiveness.

“After Huobi’s exit from the Chinese mainland market in 2021, we have accelerated our globalization push in a challenging market environment, which reinforces the impetus for Huobi to seek a new shareholding structure with a global vision and international resources,” Li said in a statement. “We believe that the successful acquisition by the About Capital vehicle will contribute to Huobi’s global expansion in both aspects.”

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