HTX Resubmits Hong Kong Bid as Application Deadline Looms

HTX stirs uncertainty about its future in Hong Kong by briefly pulling its licensing application.

Leon Li sitting at the brown table and holding Huobi Scant report.
  • HTX’s Hong Kong expansion has come under scrutiny following the brief removal of its licensing application.
  • The move comes a mere days before the SFC’s virtual asset service licensing application deadline.
  • HTX is one of several crypto firms seeking licensing in Hong Kong as the region has softened its crypto stance.

Over the past year, Hong Kong has softened its stance on crypto, again allowing retail investors to gain exposure to the market. With the regulatory shift, several leading crypto firms are eying a re-entry into the market, including the Justin Sun-linked HTX (formerly Huobi). 

In a February 2023 Twitter thread, the HTX global advisor disclosed that the firm would seek regional licensing and launch a dedicated Hong Kong arm. 

With only a few days left before the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission’s (SFC) licensing application deadline, however, HTX sparked uncertainty about its future in the region by briefly pulling its application.

HTX Cutting It Close?

On Tuesday, February 27, the South China Morning Post reported that HTX’s Hong Kong arm, Huobi HK, had inexplicably pulled its application to become a licensed crypto exchange in the region on February 23. Following the report, however, Huobi HK has reappeared on the SFC’s list of license applicants with a resubmission date of Monday, February 26.


Huobi HK has yet to return a DailyCoin request for comment at the time of writing.

While the firm has not given a reason for the recent move, with just two days left before the SFC’s application deadline, HTX is likely making final adjustments to its application to boost its chances of success. Including Huobi HK, 20 firms are vying for the SFC’s greenlight to offer crypto exchange services in Hong Kong.

The Race for Hong Kong

Aside from HTX, other big-name crypto firms seeking licensing in Hong Kong include OKX,, Bybit, and reportedly Binance through HKVAEX.


Crypto firms see the Hong Kong market as a gateway to mainland China, where crypto activities have been restricted since the 2021 ban that has geographically reshaped the crypto industry.

On the Flipside

  • HTX has yet to state the move to briefly pull its Hong Kong virtual asset service license application.
  • Hong Kong’s dream of becoming a Web3 hub has faced hurdles as crypto-related scams have increased in the past year.

Why This Matters

Huobi HK’s move to briefly pull its licensing application in Hong Kong raises questions about whether HTX can successfully expand to Hong Kong.

Read this for more on HTX:
Justin Sun’s HTX Resumes Operations Following DDoS Attack 

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This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.