Malaysia’s securities regulator has taken action against Huobi Global and its chief executive officer Leon Li for operating an unregistered digital asset exchange (DAX) in the country.
In a statement, Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), a statutory body responsible for regulating and developing the Malaysian capital market, says it has ordered Huobi to stop its operations in the country and disable its website and apps on Apple Store, Google Play and other digital application platforms.
Huobi has also been directed to cease circulating, publishing or sending any advertisements whether via emails or social media platforms to Malaysian-based investors, while Li has been charged with ensuring that the directives are carried out.
At the same time, the SC has advised Malaysian investors who have been using Huobi to immediately cease trading through its platform, withdraw all their investments, and close their accounts.
The moves come amid concerns about protection of investor interests and the platform’s compliance with local regulatory requirements.
The SC says it views the breach seriously as operating a DAX without being registered as a recognized market operator (RMO) is an offence under Section 7(1) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007.
Registered RMOs have undergone strict regulatory scrutiny and are required to adhere to strict guidelines so that investors are protected under Malaysia’s securities laws, the SC notes. It advises investors to only deal with RMOs that are registered with the commission.
Those who invest with unlicensed or unregistered entities or individuals are exposed to risks such as fraud and may not be protected under Malaysian securities laws, the SC warns.
Also, investors should be wary of investment schemes that promise high returns with little risk as they may be too good to be true, it adds.