State-backed Chinese Developer Unit Wants Hong Kong Crypto License: Report

The fintech subsidiary of China’s Greenland Holdings reportedly wants in on crypto, NFTs and carbon credits


Sean Pavone/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


The fintech arm of major Chinese real estate developer Greenland is reportedly vying for a Hong Kong virtual asset trading license, after the city-state recently introduced a new licensing framework tailored for crypto. 

Greenland Financial Technology Group, whose parent company is 46.4% owned by the Shanghai municipal government, is poised to make its second foray into digital banking, per South China Morning Post.

The firm is said to be the first state-owned entity to show interest in capitalizing on Hong Kong’s crypto push. Geng Jing, the firm’s CEO, reportedly said the firm hopes to delve into crypto trade, NFTs and carbon credits.

Jing reportedly highlighted the strategic significance of obtaining a Hong Kong virtual asset operator’s license. He noted the move would broaden the company’s business portfolio and enhance its global presence. Blockworks has reached out to the subsidiary for comment.

Greenland’s interest in setting up shop in Hong Kong is particularly noteworthy due to mainland China’s harsh stance on digital asset trading, which has included restrictions on such activities

In 2018, Greenland Holdings was one of 29 applications vying for virtual bank licenses issued by Hong Kong. But its hopes were dashed when it wasn’t among the chosen eight. Now, it’s reportedly trying again with a crypto twist.

Earlier this year, Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) proposed new regulations for the crypto industry, including a fresh licensing scheme.

The SFC emphasized that all existing and prospective crypto trading platforms must initiate a thorough review of their systems and controls in preparation for the forthcoming regulatory framework.

The framework’s consultation process generated an overwhelming response, with over 150 submissions received.

In any case, Hong Kong’s efforts to attract players in the crypto space appear to be working. Regional crypto exchanges Huobi Global and OKX were the first prominent firms to announce their intent to apply for the same license.

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