A Chinese Alleged Ex-gangster Raises USD 750m in ICO

A former gangster from Macau, the semi-autonomous Chinese gambling city next to Hong Kong, has raised USD 750 million in less than five minutes in an initial coin offering (ICO), the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.



The report cited World Hung Mun Investment, a company of the Macau triad gangster known as “Broken Tooth” Wan Kuok-koi.

According to the report, “Broken Tooth” partnered with a mysterious Mainland Chinese company Zhonggongxin Cosmos to launch the cryptocurrency dubbed “HB” during an event in Cambodia. The event was said to be attended by senior government and military officials from both Hong Kong and Mainland China.

If the report is true, it marks an interesting turn of events given the fact that ICOs and cryptocurrency trading is banned in Mainland China.

World Hung Mun Investment is said to issue a billion “HB” tokens, with only half of them being offered to the public. So far, the company claims to have sold 450 million tokens at three events, in Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines, with a final stop scheduled in Malaysia on Wednesday.

According to the article, Wan’s idea is to use the tokens as prize money during chess and poker tournaments in Mainland China this fall.

According to the report, HB is traded on an exchange called a.top that was launched by a Hong Kong company All In Group Limited.

Zhonggongxin Cosmos, a subsidiary of Zhonggongxin Assets Management Limited, which has a variety of business interests including asset management, construction projects in Russia, hints at being state-owned by claiming to report directly to a department of the Chinese central government.


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Author: Fredrik Vold
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Pressure Growing For S Korea’s Government to Reverse ICO Ban

South Korean MPs and lawyers are gearing up for a fresh assault on the country’s initial coin offering (ICO) ban. The politicians and legal professionals are aiming to reverse the government’s total ban on ICOs, made in September last year.



Media outlet News2Day reports that three MPs will submit private members’ bills during special parliamentary sessions on July 13 and 16, all aimed at reversing the ICO ban. Their number includes Park Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party. Two opposition MPs, Chung Tae-ok of the Liberty Party Korea and Choung Byoung-gug, the former leader of the Bareunmirae Party, are also set to put bills forward.

Another Democratic Party MP, Hong Eui-rak, has already proposed a bill to overturn the ban this year, as pressure on the government continues to grow.
In May, the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Industry 4.0, a parliamentary IT board, recommended that the government allow regulated ICOs. The plea failed to impress the regulatory Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), which said it would continue to “take a negative stance” on ICOs.

Meanwhile, Newsway reports that lawyers affiliated with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have urged the creation of “an institutional system” to “end the confusion” caused by the government’s ban.

The KCCI held an “ICO Seminar” on July 11, where the group’s speaker, lawyer Yoon Jong-soo, stated, “There is great demand [for ICOs in South Korea], and there is no doubting their value, but is difficult to protect investors in the current environment.” Other lawyers suggested that consultants carefully consider South Korean companies’ individual needs when advising them where to conduct overseas ICOs. Singapore is currently the favored choice for South Korean businesses, with at least 44 companies launching their ICOs in the city state so far this year.

In the past week it has emerged that Seoul may actually be willing to consider amending its ICO policy, but will only act after the forthcoming G20 summit of finance ministers (July 19-22). Ministers at the summit, to be held in Buenos Aires, are expected to discuss cryptocurrency-related matters. The governor of Jeju Island, a self-governing South Korean province, meanwhile, says he hopes to use the region’s special legal status to allow companies to issue ICOs on the island – another move that may influence Seoul’s ICO policy.


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Author: Tim Alper
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Crypto-keen Law Firm Teams up with Leading South Korean University

Shin & Kim, a major South Korean law firm, that has consulted domestic companies on initial coin offering (ICO)-related matters, has signed a business agreement with the Blockchain Research Center at Korea University, one of the country’s most prestigious academic institutions.



Per media outlet EDaily, the agreement will allow the parties to provide consultation for cryptocurrency- and blockchain technology-related companies, and offer cryptocurrency-related legal support.

Shin & Kim began advising South Korean clients on international cryptocurrency-related business in 2016, and has previously provided domestic clients with consultation on ICO and cryptocurrency exchange launches.

The company also made the headlines a few months ago when it became South Korea’s first large law firm to create a dedicated cryptocurrency department.

EDaily quotes a Shin & Kim spokesperson as saying, “This deal will help us gain a deeper understanding of blockchain technology by conducting joint research. We expect to be able to provide more professional services to our customers as a result.”
The two parties also claim that they will begin shared research, internships and training projects, as well as forming “business strategies for new blockchain technology-related business.”

Korea University’s center was opened earlier this year, and has received wide-scale backing from government agencies, academic institutions, financial firms and a range of large South Korean corporations. Last month, the center penned deals with Chinese exchange Huobi (now based in Singapore), as well as America’s Ripple.
Korea University is traditionally considered one of South Korea’s “big three” universities, and alumni include former president Lee Myung-bak and Sukhee Kang, the former mayor of Irvine, California.


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Author: Tim Alper
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Should the West suspect Chinese tech?

Both the US and UK have issued warnings about the Chinese technology and telecoms giant ZTE.

The decision by the US Commerce Department to ban American firms from selling equipment to ZTE for the next seven years dates back to a case from a few years ago, when ZTE was accused by the US government of violating sanctions against Iran.

At the time, the US said if ZTE refused to comply, there would be consequences.
This week, the US made good on those threats and is hitting ZTE where it hurts.

A shortage of US components is likely to cause ZTE to miss shipment deadlines and lose orders, according to investment firm Jefferies. It has cut its estimates for ZTE sales by 13.5% in 2018 and 7.6% in 2019.

ZTE’s chairman Yin Yimin has reportedly said this is a “crisis” and called for his 80,000 strong staff to remain calm, according to a leaked memo seen by the South China Morning Post.

And it’s not just the US.

In a seemingly unrelated case, the UK on Monday warned companies about doing business with ZTE, saying its cyber-defence watchdog has blacklisted the Chinese firm over concerns of national security.

Granted, these are two different issues, but the incidents highlight one glaring fact: the West is increasingly suspicious of Chinese tech.

That suspicion is complicated by the current “geopolitical tension”, says Chris DeAngelis of the ADG group in Beijing.

Regardless of whether there is truth to the national security concerns, the real issue, he says, is that the US and the UK want to ensure the survival of their own firms that compete with ZTE.

The geopolitical tension Mr DeAngelis is referring to is the ongoing trade row between the US and China.

At the heart of this spat, as I’ve said before, is that the US says China forced American companies that wanted access to low-cost labour and the massive market to tie up with Chinese companies – in effect allowing them to copy and steal American ideas.

China says that’s not true, and Beijing has been very vocal about the way it perceives its firms are being treated by the West.

China’s Ministry of Commerce has urged the United States to “create fair, just, and stable legal and policy environment for Chinese companies”, with regards to the ZTE decision.

And perhaps more notably, it also said it was prepared to take action to protect the interests of Chinese firms.

ZTE is not the only Chinese tech firm that’s been targeted by the West.
China’s Huawei, for example, has been blocked from striking a deal to sell its new smartphone via a US carrier over security concerns.

And Singapore’s Broadcom had its bid to takeover Qualcomm blocked because of US national security concerns that specifically cited Huawei and Chinese technology.

At the crux of this is a suspicion that Chinese companies are the eyes and ears of the Chinese government in Western markets.

Whether those suspicions are warranted is hard to prove, but “there is no question that telecom and communications is a valid security risk”, Mr DeAngelis told me.
“If you have a problem in a network, do you really want to rely on your vendor if you are in the middle of a trade war, for example?” he said.

And perhaps more notably, it also said it was prepared to take action to protect the interests of Chinese firms.

ZTE is not the only Chinese tech firm that’s been targeted by the West.
China’s Huawei, for example, has been blocked from striking a deal to sell its new smartphone via a US carrier over security concerns.

And Singapore’s Broadcom had its bid to takeover Qualcomm blocked because of US national security concerns that specifically cited Huawei and Chinese technology.

At the crux of this is a suspicion that Chinese companies are the eyes and ears of the Chinese government in Western markets.

Whether those suspicions are warranted is hard to prove, but “there is no question that telecom and communications is a valid security risk”, Mr DeAngelis told me.

“If you have a problem in a network, do you really want to rely on your vendor if you are in the middle of a trade war, for example?” he said.

Recently, Chinese firms have also beaten global firms in China, as ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing proved recently by driving Uber out.

Some say the West’s fear originates in envy and an ignorance of just how hard Chinese firms can make their staff work.

“Unless people have seen the Chinese tech culture known as 996, they don’t understand Chinese tech,” writes Lawrence Kuok in supchina.com.

(The number 996 refers to the Chinese tech firms’ practice of working from 9am to 9pm, six days a week.)

“What I think a lot of people don’t understand about the Chinese market is that there are many aspects that require pure and utter hard work,” he said.

Chinese tech firms do get help from their government, in the form of protection of the domestic market, which has allowed them to grow and dominate in China.

That’s not to say they’re not formidable players in their own right, though.

“No road that leads to a bright future is straight,” says ZTE’s Mr Yin in that leaked memo.

“The company’s internationalisation will also have its ups and downs… we will be stronger after weathering the storm.”


 

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Karishma Vaswani 

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