Justin Sun has stated that the crypto exchange Huobi is not carrying out mass layoffs, according to a report from the South China Morning Post on Jan. 2.
The South China Morning Post cited earlier reports from the Chinese business news outlet Jiemian, which obtained an internal statement from Sun. That report, presumably written in Chinese, could not be located.
However, Sun’s statement has been directly quoted in other sources. Sun said:
“The Huobi layoff plan shared by the media is incorrect…Huobi’s business has been growing exceptionally well recently, and its daily new arrivals have risen to the top of the industry. It is a vital development era, and I believe it will be even better in 2023.”
Sun’s assertion countered a statement from an unverified Huobi insider who told Jiemian that layoff rumors were “somewhat reliable” and said that cutbacks were underway.
Rumors of Huobi’s mass layoffs originated from Colin Wu, who operates the cryptocurrency news site Wu Blockchain. Wu originally reported on Dec. 30 that Huobi would halt its year-end bonuses. He also said that the company would cut its workforce from 1,200 to 600 or 800 and reduce senior employee salaries.
Wu did not cite any source for those claims. Nevertheless, reports of the layoffs were spread by other sites, including the competing exchange Binance.
Wu has repeatedly spread rumors of impending Huobi layoffs since at least July of last year. Huobi denied those rumors when Wu re-circulated his claims in November. At that time, representatives stated that “rumors of large-scale layoffs are untrue.”
It does not appear that any of the rumored layoffs were ever carried out — though Huobi could have carried out those layoffs silently or postponed the matter.
Sun’s statements this week presumably carry the most authority. Though Sun is best known as the founder and CEO of the TRON blockchain, he left the project in late 2021 and eventually joined Huobi as an advisor in October 2022. Sun presumably has deep knowledge of the company’s inner workings.
In addition to his main statement, Sun said on Dec. 29 that Huobi is hiring female employees as part of its diversity efforts. However, that announcement does not indicate that Huobi’s workforce will increase in size overall.
Sun also commented on an unrelated topic — Gemini’s debt crisis — on Twitter today. He called current circumstances “a difficult time for the entire crypto industry” and said Huobi stands with the crypto community.