Saturday, October 23, 2021

Chinese Online Brokers Futu and UP Fintech Face Regulatory Risks – People’s Daily website

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China has launched a flurry of crackdowns targeting sectors ranging from technology to cryptocurrency to property. The People’s Daily’s article could put Chinese online brokers next in the regulatory crosshairs. Such brokerages, which help mainland Chinese individuals invest in overseas stock markets such as in the United States and Hong Kong, could violate data privacy rules and also run compliance risks, the article said.

The new rules will regulate export of personal data, posing a challenge to online brokers that provide cross-border trading services to mainland Chinese citizens, the People’s Daily said.

China will implement the Personal Information Protection Law from Nov. 1, complementing the Data Security Law in regulating cyberspace and safeguarding national security.

Brokerages such as Futu and UP Fintech don’t have brokerage licences on the mainland, but Chinese citizens can open accounts online after submitting personal information related to ID cards, bank cards and tax records, the article said, adding: “after personal information is collected, where does it go?”

Online brokers, which also include Snowball Securities, face business compliance risks as well, the article said.

Currently, Chinese investors can invest in overseas securities markets through the cross-border Connect schemes, and through Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors (QDII).

Apart from these two channels, China’s securities regulator has not allowed any institutions to provide cross-border trading services to domestic investors, People’s Daily said.

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Reporting by Samuel Shen and Emily Chow
Editing by Toby Chopra and Mark Potter

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