Huobi Global, a leading crypto exchange, announced on October 8 that it has agreed to be purchased by Hong Kong-based investment company About Capital Management (HK) Co., Limited. Leon Li, Founder and CEO of Huobi, stated on social media that he will no longer serve as the shareholder and actual controller of the company, adding that he will not be involved in any aspect of its business going forward.
The news comes after months of speculation and reports that Li was seeking a buyer of his nearly 60% stake in Huobi, for which he was asking $3 billion. According to TechFlow’s post on Twitter, Li is in a group chat consisting of many former employees of Huobi.
Founded in 2008, About Capital specialises in pursuing strategies to identify long term investment opportunities. Upon completion of the transaction, the buyout vehicle of About Capital will control a majority stake in Huobi. The crypto exchange claimed that this transaction only involves a change of the controlling shareholder and will have no impact on its core operations or business management teams.
Commenting on the acquisition, Leon Li said, “This transaction marks a new chapter for Huobi. Over the past nine years, we have witnessed Huobi’s ascendence into one of the largest virtual asset exchanges in the world. Following Huobi’s exit from the Chinese mainland market in 2021, we have accelerated our globalization push amidst a challenging market environment. We believe the successful acquisition by About Capital vehicle will contribute to Huobi’s global expansion.”
Huobi has in recent years retreated from China and stopped providing services to users in the country after Beijing declared crypto transactions illegal last year. The exchange has since accelerated its global expansion to rival other leading crypto marketplaces like Binance and FTX. News even emerged in August that FTX had acquired Huobi and would change its name to HTX, although this was later denied by its founder and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried. The 24-hour trading volume of Huobi is $7,466,288 now, according to data from CoinGecko.