After China's crypto crackdown last September, Huobi, the world's third-largest crypto exchange by volume, moved its exchange business to the more crypto friendly Singapore. Now, in a reported first for any cryptocurrency and blockchain company in China, Huobi has set up a Communist Party committee for its Beijing-based branch, Beijing Lianhuo Information Service.
According to the South China Morning Post, Beijing Lianhuo was established earlier this year in April with Huobi founder and chief executive Li Lin owning 99 percent of the company. Although Huobi moved its headquarters to Singapore, the Beijing Lianhuo branch is part of an investment fund focused on blockchain startups Huobi is developing in anti-crypto (but pro-blockchain) China as well as South Korea.
China's Communist Party charter does not require a private firm like Huobi or Beijing Lianhuo to set up a committee, but they join the likes of Baidu, Tencent, and Alibaba Group as private firms that have set up committees to "seek closer ties with the government." A blog post on Huobi's website called the committee creation a "milestone," with Lin stating:
"Under the cordial care of the Party Working Committee of Haidian, the party branch of the Beijing Lianhuo Information Service Ltd. was gloriously established. … The core reason is mainly due to the party and the state's policy of encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship and encouraging the development of 'blockchain' industries."
Coupled with the creation of the Communist Party committee, Huobi also opened up its first offices in Moscow, Russia, on November 12, which will include an information center for Russian blockchain projects, an educational program, and mining space rentals.
Attempting to attract as many users as possible, the Huobi Russia rollout will include commissions lower than 0.1 percent for users who trade more than 50 bitcoin during the first two weeks.
The Moscow offices are a part of a much bigger expansion Huobi announced in October, with plans to set up new exchanges in the Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Canada, as reported by the South China Morning Post.