TRON founder Justin Sun admits to acquiring Huobi while stating that Binance is an essential partner — not a competitor.
Does Sun own Huobi?
In July 2022, Huobi founder Leon Li was reportedly seeking a buyer for more than 50% of the company — a move motivated by the market downturn and the increasingly challenging regulatory landscape.
By November 2022, Li sold his controlling stake to a “buyout firm” with the deal brokered by About Capital Management HK. Rumors swirled that Sun was behind the buyout — spending $1 billion to acquire a 60% stake in Huobi Global.
Sun denied these rumors, stating that his role with the company is as an advisor, not a majority shareholder. Nonetheless, he has since gone on to represent Huobi in a high-level capacity, such as announcing the potential merger of Huobi and Poloniex in November 2022.
By the end of the month, Huobi said it had established a strategic partnership with Poloniex to cooperate on multiple business operations.
In March, ChainCatcher said a merger of both companies would occur, with Poloniex integrating into Huobi’s operations — Poloniex’s website remains up and running.
Most recently, Sun interviewed with the Empire YouTube channel, discussing several matters including TRON’s vision, yield farming, and Huobi competing with market leader Binance.
Plenty of room for Huobi
Rather than frame the situation as Huobi taking on Binance, Sun said there is room for many exchanges to operate successfully.
He explained that while Binance accounts for 50-60% of the market, he believes the crypto exchange market will diversify in the long term.
His reasoning boils down to the changeability of trending tokens, such as Pepe — which has gained a significant market cap in a short amount of time.
Sun said this is unlike the legacy stock market, with major stocks staying exclusively with the same exchange — citing Apple trading on the NASDAQ as an example.
Furthermore, as different crypto tokens fade in and out of popularity, there is scope for crypto exchanges to ride these trends.
“I believe eventually the industry will become lots of exchanges, listing different assets. Binance will probably list mainstream assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. And Huobi, Poloniex, and other exchanges will be good at listing innovative assets.”
Sun added that because Huobi collaborates extensively with Binance, he views them “as one of our most important partners” rather than a competitor.
In setting the scene for the question on competing with Binance, host, Jason Yanowitz stated Sun had acquired Huobi in October 2022. He responded, “Yes,” confirming his status as a significant shareholder.