Huobi to Gradually Expel Its China Users in Wake of Ban; Token Slides to 8-Month Low


Prominent crypto exchange Huobi Global announced on Sunday that it would stop serving existing China-based users by the end of this year, sending its native cryptocurrency Huobi Token (HT) to eight-month lows.

“Huobi Global will gradually retire existing Mainland China user accounts by 24:00 (UTC 8) on Dec 31, 2021, and ensure the safety of users’ assets,” the exchange’s official statement published early today said. “We will inform users of the specific arrangements and details through official announcements, e-mails, text messages, etc.”

The exchange had already suspended new registrations for mainland Chinese, taking cues from the People’s Bank of China’s Friday statement, which declared all virtual currency-related businesses illegal and banned overseas crypto exchanges from serving China-based users.

Huobi token fell below $6 on major exchanges early Sunday, hitting the lowest since Jan. 30. At press time, the cryptocurrency is changing hands near $7.40, representing an 18% slide on the day, according to data provided by TradingView.

The token’s price has more than halved in the past seven days alone and has lost 80% of its value since China renewed its crackdown on cryptocurrency trading and mining in mid-May.

Coins of other China-sensitive trading venues and Web 3 projects are also facing increased selling pressure. Crypto exchange OKEx’s OKB token hit a five-week low of $7 early today. While the price has bounced to $14 since then, it is still down 20% on a seven-day basis.

FIL, a cryptocurrency that powers decentralized peer-to-peer file storage network Filecoin, is currently trading at $55, the lowest since Aug. 6, and down 33% in seven days.

Crypto market leader bitcoin has steadied since Friday’s knee-jerk sell-off to $40,700 in the wake of the China news. The cryptocurrency is currently changing hands above $43,000 – up 1.3% on the day.

Bitcoin’s resilience is perhaps indicative of investor confidence that China’s stricter stance won’t dent the thriving crypto industry. Analysts told CoinDesk on Friday that the market-wide selling pressure stemming from China news would be temporary at worst.