Huobi Group founder Leon Li has been named CEO, chairman of the board, and executive director of the board for electronics manufacturer Pantronics Holdings.

The crypto exchange said in a press release that Li will be facilitating the management of Hong Kong-listed Pantronics to help it explore “potential new opportunities.”

Why it matters: The Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange company has been eyeing a move into hardware.

  • Huobi’s venture capital arm invested in a startup called Whole Network that recently announced a new blockchain-enabled phone targeting cryptocurrency traders.

Emerging technologies, such as mobile internet, AI, big data, and especially blockchain technology are radically transforming traditional business models. The knowledge, experiences, and management skills that have allowed Leon to build one of the most successful digital asset companies in the world will be invaluable to the Pantronics team.

Chris Lee, Pantronics current executive director, in a statement

Details: According to the Huobi’s press release, under a new proposal Pantronics may be changed to Huobi Technology Holdings Limited. However, the name change is pending approval from the Registry of Corporate Affairs in the British Virgin Islands.

  • Pantronics share prices soared over 80% on Wednesday morning. Huobi acquired a controlling stake in Pantronics last year.

Context: Li founded Huobi in China in 2013. The company now operates Huobi Global, one of the world’s largest digital asset exchanges by trading volume. Huobi has since expanded into other upstream and downstream businesses in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

  • In a reverse takeover in August 2018, Huobi acquired a 74% stake Pantronics, and became listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • The company moved to more crypto-friendly Singapore in 2017 after China tightened regulations on cryptocurrency activities.

This story was updated to clarify that the reverse takeover by which Huobi acquired Pantronics took place in August 2018, not 2019.

Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.

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