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Cryptocurrency Exchange Huobi Poaches CEO from Major Rival OKEx

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:07 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:07 PM

Former OKEx CEO Chris Lee has joined rival cryptocurrency exchange Huobi as its vice president of global development, just days after stating that he was leaving his former employer so that he could spend more time with his family.

Huobi made the announcement on Monday, explaining in a statement that Lee would help spearhead the Singapore-based firm’s international strategy as it seeks to expand into more markets. Lee confirmed the news on Twitter and stated that he believes Huobi will become the largest exchange in the nascent cryptocurrency trading industry.

The announcement came just one week after Lee resigned from Hong Kong-based exchange OKEx, stating that he intended to take a “short break” to spend time with his family.

In a statement posted on his WeChat account days after his resignation, Lee said that he had grown tired of clashing with Xu Mingxing, the founder of OKCoin.

“Xu is a tech guy who lacks communication skills, a problem many geniuses have to face. He heads the team alone and is not used to handing over some work to and trusting others. He works really hard, but is not easy to get along with. But I’m only responsible for OKEx’s overseas business and I’m an idealist,” Lee said, according to a translation published in regional news outlet 8btc .

The hiring is significant, as OKEx and Huobi are not only two of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency trading platforms but also direct rivals in the Asian market. At present, OKEx ranks as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, with $1.8 billion in 24-hour trading volume. Huobi ranks third — after Binance — with $1.1 billion in daily volume.

Huobi founder Li Lin said in a welcome letter  that he did not contact Lee until he heard that he had formally resigned from OKEx and that the two quickly came to terms to bring Lee into the Huobi fold.

As CCN.com reported, OKEx recently announced plans to open an office in Malta, whose government is actively courting blockchain companies.

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