China is taking a tougher stance on capital flows out of the country as the nation’s two leading cross-border online brokerages decided to remove their trading platforms from app stores in the mainland, reports Bloomberg. Futu Holdings and Up Fintech Holding, also known as Tiger Brokers, said Tuesday that the move was to comply with the Chinese securities regulator’s requirements on cross-border brokerage businesses. Futu’s app Futubull will be removed Friday, and Tiger Brokers’ app will be taken off on Thursday.
Existing clients in mainland China can continue to use the apps to make trades, and users outside of the country won’t be affected, the brokers said. Futu and Up Fintech have been operating in a gray area for their mainland China businesses, allowing millions of local investors to evade capital controls to trade shares in markets such as Hong Kong and New York.
China has increased scrutiny of operations that could risk financial stability and national security in recent months, especially as relations with the US worsened and demand rose among mainlanders to move wealth offshore as China reopened from COVID-zero. Lines at Hong Kong bank branches had hours-long waiting times in early May during the Golden Week holiday, as tourists from the mainland tried to open an account in the region.
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