TLDR – OKEx is the second exchange to withdraw from the South Korean market, following Binance Korea’s withdrawal in December 2020, likely due to the stricter AML rules coming into effect in South Korea.
On 23 March 2021, OKEx Korea announced that it would be shutting down its operations and withdrawing from the South Korean market by 7 April 2021. While OKEx did not directly address the reasons for its withdrawal, market observers contend that given the timing of the announcement OKEx Korea’s closure is likely due to South Korea’s new regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies and related service providers that will enter into force on 25 March.
As noted by CoinTelegraph, South Korea’s Act on Reporting and Use of Specific Financial Transactions will require local virtual asset business operators to report user info to the Financial Intelligence Unit under the Financial Services Commission.
VASPs will have to set up real-name verification for deposits and withdrawals with an approved South Korean bank. Each local VASP must apply for certification with the government’s Information Security Management System to allow for reporting the KYC information properly.
OKEx’s closure comes on the heels of Binance Korea’s withdrawal from the South Korean market in December 2020 after only eight months in operation.
CoinTelegraph’s article on the OKEx announcement:
AsiaTimes article on Binance Korea’s closure: