Former OKEx CEO Chris Lee Joins Rival Crypto Exchange Huobi

Francisco Memoria
  • Merely one week after resigning as OKEx's chief executive officer, Chris Lee revealed he's joining Huobi, a rival cryptocurrency exchange.
  • The move is notable as both exchanges are competing for the number one spot, and for dominance in Asian markets.

Chris Lee, former chief executive officer at cryptocurrency exchange OKEx, has recently joined rival exchange Huobi, according to a press release. Notably, the move comes merely one week after Lee resigned from OKEx to take a short break to spend time with his family.

The press release states that Lee is now going to help spearhead Singapore-based Huobi’s international strategy, as its new vice president of global business development. Lee himself confirmed the news on Twitter, where he claimed he sees Huobi become the largest cryptocurrency exchange.

Lee reportedly left OKEx after growing tired of clashing with the company’s founder, Xu Mingxing. According to a statement he published on WeChat, Mingxing “is a tech guy and lacks communication skills.”

He got his position at OKEx after the company’s former chief executive, Star Xu, stepped down in February. In a public note on WeChat, he suggested the company hasn’t been able to keep senior executives.

"For my former employer, I have done all I could ... The first generation of OKCoin's international and management teams have left. How many of the second generation are still there? And how many CTOs have left in the last three to four years?"

Chris Lee

The now-former OKEx CEO resigned little after Chinese national media started claiming the company has been illegally trading bitcoin futures contracts in the country. Their accusations even stated OKEx had only moved its headquarters to Hong Kong on paper, and is registering in Belize to dodge regulations.

Looking forward, Lee is seemingly bullish. Referring to Huobi, he stated:

"For my former employer, I have done all I could ... The first generation of OKCoin's international and management teams have left. How many of the second generation are still there? And how many CTOs have left in the last three to four years?"

Chris Lee

 Huobi itself has recently been embroiled in controversy, as various Chinese traders complained several cryptocurrencies, including ONT and NEO, plummeted on the platform, liquidating their positions.

Lee’s move is notable, as both exchanges are rivals competing for a larger share of the Asian market. At press time, OKEx is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with a 24-hour trading volume of over $1.7 billion. Huobi ranks third with a trading volume of little over $1 billion.