Hong Kong Orders Telecom Service Providers to Block Access to JPEX Amid Probe

Hong Kong authorities have ordered telecom service providers in its jurisdiction to block users’ access to JPEX as investigations around the exchange continue.

JPEX on Wednesday in a statement said Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission has “unreasonably blocked our mobile application and official website.” 

“Since September 13, 2023, the SFC has suddenly made a series of accusations against our platform’s operating model and promotional methods, which we vehemently resent as they were made without investigation or review,” JPEX added.

According to local reports, at least 11 persons have been detained by the police. The police have also reportedly raided dozens of locations and seized assets associated with the case. JPEX exchange has been in operation in Hong Kong, but the authorities recently said it was an illegal exchange. 

It all started when the authorities received over 80 complaints against the exchange in connection to $4.3 million of users’ funds. The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is also said to have filed an official police report against the exchange.

The SFC said the exchange had published some dubious and untrue claims, some of which are that the exchange was licensed by overseas regulators to operate a crypto trading platform.

Following the flagging of the exchange, a Hong Kong influencer was also arrested for promoting JPEX. The influencer, Joseph Lam Chok is currently among the 11 suspects arrested in connection to this investigation so far. 

JPEX Defies Authorities

Following the order to block users’ access to JPEX’s website and mobile app, the exchange has decided to fight back by encouraging its users to use a virtual private network (VPN) to access the platform.

“Here, we strongly reiterate that, even in the face of such oppression and unfair treatment, our platform will continue to operate as usual,” JPEX continued. “Users can log into our mobile application or operate on our web version using VPN applications like Surfshark.”

A VPN is an app that you can use to access a website or app that you’re otherwise restricted from accessing. The VPN shields your IP address, thus making it impossible for the telecom service provider to determine from which country the user is, thus effectively circumventing such restrictions.

Hong Kong to Tighten Crypto Regulation

Hong Kong is one of the booming crypto hubs in the world, with its crypto-friendly approach, but that may be about to change. With the JPEX case, regulators are looking to tighten the regulatory ropes on the industry.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-Chiu speaking on the case said the government will increase awareness among investors to only use licensed platforms, as part of efforts to curb the proliferation of fraud in the industry.

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