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Webull Wobbles?

Posted May 29, 2024

Matt Insley

By Matt Insley

Webull Wobbles?

“Even in a year full of surprises on Wall Street, this one stands out: A Chinese-owned brokerage has quietly built one of the fastest-growing retail trading platforms in the U.S.,” Bloomberg reported in 2020. 

The trading platform Webull — the brainchild of a former Alibaba Group executive — attracted two million retail users that year, in fact, representing ten-fold growth. 

The brokerage app slowly won over Robinhood customers with its easy-to-use interface, “paper trading” feature and navigable charts. 

But... security?

At a time when U.S. relations with China were strained (to put it mildly), would customers leave Robinhood or other discount brokerages en masse for a product the government might block in the near term? 

(We’re reminded of the ongoing TikTok flap.)

“[Webull] goes out of its way to emphasize its U.S. links,” Bloomberg said at the time. “It stores user data locally, is subject to the same regulations as any other U.S. brokerage, and has an office right next to a Trump building on 40 Wall Street.” 

May Zhao of Zhongtai Financial International said: “Retail users focus more on whether their brokers’ trading systems and data are reliable and user-friendly. 

“Political tension is a secondary concern.”

That was then. This is now… 

Send your opinions to, feedback@newsyoucanacton.com

Your Rundown for Monday, May 29, 2024...

Bears Come for Webull 

A coalition of 14 red states, led by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, has initiated an inquiry into Webull's measures to safeguard sensitive investor data from potential access by the Chinese Communist Party.

In a letter addressed to Anthony Denier — the CEO of Webull's U.S. arm, Webull Financial — the attorneys general expressed concerns that the company may be misleading customers regarding the privacy and security of their information held by Webull.

The letter, which was made public, seeks clarification on the company's data protection practices.

Webull, like its rival Robinhood, offers commission-free trading of stocks and options through a mobile app. According to the company, it currently has around 20 million users globally.

In February, the company announced plans to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), valuing Webull at approximately $7 billion. 

While regulatory filings indicate that Webull's current parent company is based in the Cayman Islands, the company has faced criticism, primarily from Republican lawmakers, over its ties to China.

In a 2019 interview, Denier claimed that Webull was “both a U.S. and Chinese company” with a technology team based in Hunan, China.

As the multistate inquiry unfolds, Webull will likely face increased scrutiny over its data security practices and its ability to protect sensitive investor information from potential access by the Chinese government.

We’ll keep you posted… 

Market Rundown for Monday, May 29, 2024

The S&P 500 is down 0.75% to 5,265. 

Oil is up 0.35% to $80.13 for a barrel of WTI. 

Gold is down 0.50% to $2,367.70 per ounce. 

And Bitcoin’s pulled back 0.65% to $67,830. 

Send your comments and questions to, feedback@newsyoucanacton.com

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