According to a report published by local news outlet Sina on January 25, Alipay and WeChat companies demanded again from the cryptocurrency exchange Huobi to remove their payment services from its Over-The-Counter (OTC) section.
Huobi is a well-known exchange in the cryptocurrency market. This exchange was first founded in China, but after a while, it opened up offices in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and the United States. In August 2018, this exchange was officially registered in Hong Kong as a company.
Reportedly, the two big financial services companies, namely Alipay (under the Alibaba Group Holding) and WeChat payment services, have frequently sent legal letters to Huobi, and claim that the use of their company services and even their logo in the OTC section of Huobi exchange to be illicit activity.
OTC services are trades between the two parties directly without being overseen by the exchange. OTC trades compared to those of the exchanges have numerous advantages including facilitating the market’s liquidity, providing transparency in the trade, and most importantly maintaining the market’s current price.
Based on information obtained from local news outlet Sina, both Alipay and WeChat have neither offered their services to Huobi exchange nor even have they given permission to it to use their companies’ trademarks.
Nonetheless, Huobi’s OTC trading platform has allowed its users to upload QR codes from both Alipay and WeChat systems several times to facilitate trading cryptocurrencies for users in its own platform.
Sina news agency stated that payment methods of Alipay and WeChat are still available at Huobi’s OTC platform on January 28.
On January 29, Huobi responded to these statements and claimed that it has not received any letters, and further added that a particular payment platform’s logo is merely a way to show the payment link. This exchange stressed that there is no cooperation between Huobi and the two payment companies and that all the money transfers by this exchange’s users are done through peer-to-peer payments.
At first in August 2018, Alipay used strong measures against its users who used their Alipay accounts to trade in OTC Bitcoin. Alipay company, which is considered a giant among payment systems, and which recently broke a record by one billion users worldwide, constrained accounts that traded in the OTC Bitcoin platform several times, and also implemented a control system for website and accounts’ passwords.
WeChat, a Chinese social media network with one billion users and developed by Tencent Technology, took measures a while back with respect to cryptocurrency accounts. In August 2018, WeChat service blocked a number of cryptocurrency accounts which were suspected of releasing Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). In September, WeChat blocked an official sales channel for Bitcoin mining devices since they allegedly violated their license.
In late 2018, Huobi cryptocurrency exchanges group confirmed that a number of their employees have been let go due to cryptocurrency’s declining market. Recently, HBUS, Huobi’s commercial partner in the U.S., said that it will move its retail trading services from HBUS.com to Huobi.com.