Justin Sun and Huobi play shell game with ownership

Justin Sun, no longer doing business as a Chinese citizen, has been establishing a slew of businesses in Hong Kong under his St. Kitts and Nevis identity and has kept his Huobi ownership at arm’s length.

Sun had previously used his Chinese passport to start companies — including one called Rebo Group Limited and another called Rible Group Limited — through 2014 but has relied on his new Caribbean identity since at least 2019.

Under this new identity, he’s started companies called ‘Love Letters Limited,’ and, in nods to Ayn Rand, ‘Objectivists Limited’ and ‘Only Fountainhead Limited.’ It’s unclear what the purpose of the shell companies is, though all three were established in April 2019.

Meanwhile, a saga is ongoing between the former founders of Huobi and the Sun-controlled entity, with the former founders suggesting that the continued use of the name is in violation of an agreement made when it was purchased from them.

As a result, they’re threatening to take legal action against the company. An online note has been circulating since late May, stating that New Huo Tech and its parent company HBIT have no affiliation with Huobi.

The note reiterated that there’s no link between Huobi and HBIT.

Read more: Who really owns crypto exchange Huobi?

Corporate shells and subsidiaries a ‘red flag’

It’s unclear why Sun has been registering all of his newer companies under a Caribbean passport, but the change seems to suggest that he may have lost his Chinese citizenship altogether.

While stating that it’s normal for large, international corporations to have numerous shells, subsidiaries, and sister companies, a lawyer familiar with the matter also called Sun’s antics “clear obfuscation,” stating that Huobi’s corporate structure is “highly irregular” and said that “the lack of the most basic corporate formalities is the real red flag here.”

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