August 21, 2023
By Anjali Kochhar
Li Lin, the founder of renowned cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global, has reportedly taken up residence in an opulent mansion in Hong Kong, signalling the city’s ongoing efforts to establish itself as a major hub for virtual asset activities. The sprawling 11,692 square-foot mansion is situated within Kerry Properties’ prestigious Mont Verra project, nestled in the upscale enclave of Beacon Hill, Kowloon Tong district. According to official government records, the mansion was leased to Li Lin earlier this month.
The luxurious abode, estimated to cost HK$1.17 million (US$150,000) per month in rent, boasts lavish amenities including a banquet hall, theatre, entertainment room, gymnasium, library, and a swimming pool. The unique lease agreement allows the tenant, Li Lin, the option to purchase the property for HK$1 billion during a 90-month leasing period or renew the tenancy for an additional three months upon its expiration.
Although the developer, Kerry Properties, confirmed Li Lin’s name as the tenant, they refrained from divulging further details about his background or nationality. The South China Morning Post’s attempts to contact Li Lin were unsuccessful. Li Lin had previously divested his entire stake in Huobi Global amidst the tumultuous downturn of the global cryptocurrency market.
The move comes at a time when Hong Kong is aggressively seeking to bolster its reputation as a centre for virtual assets. The city’s push includes attracting Chinese players from the mainland, where cryptocurrency trading remains banned. The Mont Verra mansion’s lease adds to Hong Kong’s allure for crypto entrepreneurs and investors.
However, this development is juxtaposed against a challenging real estate market in Hong Kong. Factors such as high interest rates, an oversupply of unsold units, and limited purchasing power from mainland China have led to a series of headwinds. Real estate services firm JLL’s midyear property market report predicts a 1.2 percent decline in home prices in the second quarter, with expectations of a 5 to 8 percent decrease by year-end. Luxury home prices could decline by 1.5 percent in 2023, according to Knight Frank, a property consultancy.
It’s worth noting that Mont Verra’s neighboring development, Mont Rouge, made headlines last year when Beijing’s national security office acquired a 7,171 sq ft villa for an unprecedented HK$508 million.
The presence of a prominent figure like Li Lin within Hong Kong’s luxury real estate landscape further cements the city’s aspiration to become a global epicenter for virtual assets. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, Hong Kong’s pursuit of this niche market remains steadfast.
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.