UPDATE 03/28/17 – The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has denied Robinhood’s request, “Robinhood integrated with Baidu’s StockMaster app in June 2016. Subsequently, the Chinese regulatory environment changed and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) provided guidance to Baidu and other unlicensed Chinese companies disallowing them from engaging in business with U.S. brokerages. In accordance with this new ruling, Robinhood ended its integration with Baidu’s StockMaster and notified affected customers.”
Robinhood, the no-fee online brokerage app, has teamed up with Baidu to offer its US stock trading service to customers in China. Chinese investors are able to buy any US stocks or exchange traded funds without paying commission by downloading Baidu’s StockMaster app and creating a Robinhood account. Baidu’s StockMaster app uses artificial intelligence to predict how certain stocks and markets will move.
Robinhood said in their blog post, “From the onset, Robinhood has been guided by a mission to make the U.S. Stock market accessible to everyone. Today we are taking a bold leap in fulfulling that mission by bringing Robinhood to China.”
Robinhood also announced that Amy Gu has joined their advisory board to serve as a key advisor regarding the expansion of the platform in China. She was previously the general manager of Evernote China.
Robinhood plans to issue a standalone app in China in addition to the integration with Baidu. Robinhood set up a waitlist for the standalone app in April and nearly 25,000 Chinese residents have signed up thus far.
Tiger Brokers and 8Securities are already in this market, so there is some direct competition for Robinhood as well as other more well known brokers such as Firstrade, Scottrade, and SogoTrade, among others. Stay with StockBrokers.com as we monitor the moves of Robinhood in the future.
Lastly, while Robinhood announced its plans to offer free trading to Australian residents over a year ago, the expansion has yet to materialize for reasons unknown.
Click here for the full blog post from Robinhood about this move. (UPDATE 2017: Robinhood has deleted this blog post.)