Huobi Required to Remove Alipay and WeChat Pay Payment Solutions from Its OTC Platform
Huobi, one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges, received a lawyer’s letter from Chinese mobile payment giants—Alipay and WeChat Pay on January 25, according to Chinese news outlet CAIJING.COM.CN.
These two payment service providers have required the exchange to remove their payment channels from Huobi’s over-the-counter (OTC) platform and stop using their logos illegally.
It has been found that Huobi OTC platform has actually integrated the third-party merchant QR code payment solution instead of using third-party transaction interface.
According to WeChat Pay, the platform did not provide financial services to virtual currency transactions. Crypto exchanges like Huobi have used the logo of WeChat Pay privately and illegally.
Alipay also responded to this issue, stating that Alipay refuses to provide crypto-related platforms with any payment service. As the payment giant put it, it will require any platform involving in crypto transactions to remove Alipay’s payment channel, while taking legal actions against any illegal use of Alipay logo.
China UnionPay has ramped up efforts to crack down on money laundering, while warning the general public of possible financial risks arising from crypto services.
Chinese watchdogs have strengthened their regulation on crypto-related activities over the past two years.
Back in September, 2017, regulators in China have already begun to scrutinize China’s initial coin offerings (ICOs) industry. As the regulatory statement reads, all organizations and individuals are banned from raising funds through ICOs and all banks and financial institutions are banned from engaging in any business related to ICO trading.
On August 24, 2018, five Chinese government administrations published a joint statement on the CBRC (China Banking Regulatory Commission) website, warning investors against the potential risks associated with illegal fundraising and fraud related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
One day before the OTC payment issue, Huobi CEO Leon Li claimed on January 24 that its OTC platform saw an average daily turnover of more than $100 million in 2018, enabling it to rank as one of the largest crypto OTC marketplaces.
Reporters at the Securities Daily sought confirmations from Huobi Group, yet persons connected to Huobi said that they hadn’t received the lawyer’s letter yet.
Huobi also stated that, “The firm has no bilateral cooperation with either Alipay or WeChat Pay. Those money transfers belong to individual behaviors that are conducted by users themselves, while the use of their logos is to present the payment channel rather than any kind of self-promotion.”