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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Chinese-owned finance apps collect Americans’ sensitive personal data

Jun 01, 2023

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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There’s bipartisan concern in Congress about TikTok. The app is owned by a Chinese parent company and collects vast sums of data from its users including location, keystrokes and biometrics. Now, a senator is raising the alarm about Chinese-owned finance apps that also collect sensitive personal information but have largely flown under the radar compared to TikTok. 

Webull and Moomoo are financial trading apps that are competitors to Robinhood. They are owned by Chinese companies and collect information including Social Security numbers, mailing addresses and financial account data. 

“All major Chinese companies answer to the Chinese Communist Party. It’s unbelievable that the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority better known as FINRA let these apps operate in the United States,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., said in a statement to Straight Arrow News. “That’s why I’m sounding the alarm on this.” 

Webull is owned by Fumi Technology, a Chinese holding company. One of Fumi’s main investors is Xiaomi, another tech company that focuses on mobile devices. It’s essentially the Apple of China.  

Moomoo Financial is owned by Futu Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong based company. Futu’s investors include Tencent, a Chinese telecommunications company. 

Both Xiaomi and Tencent have been accused of helping the Chinese Communist Party surveil and censor its citizens. The companies said those accusations are false. 

Their businesses are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). 

The Trump administration put Xiaomi on a U.S. investment blacklist, but a judge struck that down and the Biden administration decided not to pursue it further. 

Sen. Tuberville and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., are asking the SEC and FINRA to explain how they ensure the company’s compliance, especially with rules regarding record keeping, supervision and document collection and production. 

“The SEC needs to wake up. China is our biggest rival and threat,” Sen. Tuberville said. 

Tuberville said the U.S. needs full access to all the company’s audit documents, so they can ensure they are on a level playing field with American companies.

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There’s bipartisan concern in Congress about TikTok. 

 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA: “TikTok collects nearly every datapoint imaginable. From people’s location to what they type and copy.” 

 

The app even collects biometric data. It stores the information on servers which critics say could be accessed by the Chinese government. 

 

Now Senator Tommy Tuberville is expressing concern about the financial trading apps Webull and Moomoo because they too are owned by Chinese companies and collect sensitive personal information like Social Security Numbers, mailing addresses and financial account data. 

 

Sen. Tommy Tuberville: “All major Chinese companies andrew to the Chinese Communist Party. It’s unbelievable that the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority better known as FINRA let these apps operate in the United States. That’s why I’m sounding the alarm on this.” 

 

Both companies are registered with the SEC and members of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Both offer online trading and are considered competitors to Robinhood. 

 

Webull is owned by Fumi technology, a Chinese holding company. One of Fumi’s main investors is Xiaomi, a technology company that focuses on mobile devices, it’s pretty much the Apple of China. 

 

Moomoo financial is owned by Futu holdings limited. A Hong Kong based company with investors that include Tencet – a Chinese telecommunications company. 

 

Both Xiaomi and Tencet have been accused of helping the Chinese Communist Party surveil and censor its citizens. Accusations the companies say are false.

 

The Trump administration put Xiaomi on a US investment blacklist, but a judge struck that down and the Biden administration decided not to pursue it further. 

 

So Senator Tuberville and Congressman Jim Banks are asking the SEC and FINRA to explain how they ensure the company’s compliance, especially with rules regarding recordkeeping, supervision and document collection and production. 

 

Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Al.: “The SEC needs to wake up. China is our biggest rival and threat.” 

 

Senator Tuberville says the US needs full access to all the company’s audit documents, so they can ensure they are on a level playing field with American companies. Straight from DC, I’m Ray Bogan.