Top Chinese Asset Manager Moves to Launch Bitcoin ETF in Hong Kong

Shalini Nagarajan
Last updated: | 2 min read
Hong Kong spot Bitcoin ETF
Source: DALL·E 3

The Hong Kong subsidiary of Chinese asset management firm, Harvest Fund Management, applied for a spot Bitcoin ETF on Jan. 26.

This marks the first submission of its kind in Hong Kong, Tencent News reported on Monday.

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is said to be expediting approval for the ETF’s launch, which is expected to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. They aim for a launch just after Chinese New Year, which will run from Feb. 10 to Feb. 17 this year.

Harvest Fund Management is primarily a Chinese asset management firm offering services to pension and profit-sharing plans, insurance companies, and enterprises. As of 2021, the fund managed assets worth $121b.

Harvest didn’t return Cryptonews’ request for comment by press time, while the SFC declined to comment.

This development follows the US SEC’s approval of 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs on Jan. 10, marking a significant milestone for the industry following earlier rejections.

BlackRock’s IBIT, VanEck’s HODL, and Grayscale’s GBTC were among notable approvals.

Hong Kong prepares to embrace spot Bitcoin ETFs


Hong Kong is also prepared to follow the US’ trend. In December, the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority jointly announced their readiness to accept applications for virtual asset spot ETFs. Additionally, they outlined the expected standard of conduct for intermediaries distributing these funds.

Hong Kong crypto leaders see the SFC favorably paving the way for spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Yat Siu, chairman of web3 investor Animoca Brands, mentioned that the SFC is open to broadening digital asset access and pointed to a spot Bitcoin ETF as a relatively uncontroversial option.

Julia Leung, CEO of Hong Kong’s SFC, has also conveyed the regulator’s intention to evaluate spot Bitcoin ETFs and its willingness to consider proposals.

Furthermore, HashKey Group’s COO Livia Wend said early this month that about ten fund firms are in the process of readying virtual asset spot ETFs for launch in Hong Kong.

He noted that seven or eight of them were in advanced stages of preparation as of Jan. 10.

Crypto oversight intensifies in Hong Kong


Hong Kong already has several futures-based crypto ETFs. These include Samsung Bitcoin Futures Active ETF, CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF, and CSOP Ether Futures ETF.

Despite its openness to digital assets, Hong Kong is known for having strict regulations in this area.

Both Hong Kong’s central bank and securities regulator tightened crypto regulations after a major scandal involving crypto exchange JPEX, allegedly affecting more than 2,000 victims last year. A new working group will now monitor local trading platforms.