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Huobi Global Ordered to Cease Operations in Malaysia by Securities Commission

Mon, 22 May 2023, 16:03 pm UTC

Huobi Global, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange, has been instructed to halt its operations in Malaysia following regulatory enforcement by the country's securities watchdog.

On May 22, the Securities Commission Malaysia (SCM) announced that Huobi Global had failed to complete the required registration process as a cryptocurrency exchange operator and must immediately cease all activities. As a result, the company has been instructed to disable access to its website and mobile applications. Additionally, Huobi Global is expected to stop promoting its services to Malaysian users through email and social media channels.

The decision by the SCM was primarily driven by complaints regarding Huobi's compliance with local regulatory standards. As a consequence of not obtaining registration with the SCM, the regulator has also advised Malaysian investors to halt trading, withdraw their funds, and deactivate their accounts.

Huobi Global underwent a rebranding process in November 2022 after its acquisition by About Capital Buyout Fund in October 2022. The Malaysian securities regulator had been monitoring Huobi Global since August 2022 when the SCM issued an investor alert stating that the exchange was operating without the necessary permissions in the country.

In response to the public announcement, Huobi stated that it was engaged in discussions with Malaysian regulators regarding its operations in the region. The company established a brokerage named Huobi Labuan in November 2020, which was granted a temporary nine-month window to provide cryptocurrency spot and derivatives trading services.

In the previous year, cryptocurrency exchange Binance entered the Malaysian market successfully by acquiring a stake in MX Global, an exchange platform approved by the Malaysian Securities Commission (MAS). Binance faced a similar situation to Huobi in mid-2021 when it was ordered to cease operations in the region due to a lack of regulatory approval.

According to the SCM website, there are currently only four companies registered as legal cryptocurrency exchange platforms in Malaysia: Tokenize Technology, Luno Malaysia, Sinegy, and MX Global.

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